Amgen Nurses Itself Back To Health

Its top drugs are on track, and investors are happy

A year ago, biotechnology giant Amgen Inc. was in the doldrums. Its premier drug, the blood cell stimulant Epogen, was under pressure from Medicare, which picks up the tab for most patients and was trying to cut back on the drug's usage. Amgen's pipeline of candidates for new drugs, never a torrent, had slowed to a trickle. And the company's stock price was near its low for the year. Once the golden child of the biotech revolution, Amgen was being talked about more as an orphan, a bargain takeover for a big pharmaceutical company on the prowl.

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