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Amgen Starts Phase III Enrollment for Heart Failure Drug

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Amgen (AMGN - Free Report) , Cytokinetics, Inc. (CYTK - Free Report) and Servier announced that the enrollment for the second phase III study of omecamtiv mecarbil, a novel cardiac myosin activator, has been initiated. Omecamtiv mecarbil is being developed for the potential treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF).

The phase III study, METEORIC-HF (Multicenter Exercise Tolerance Evaluation of Omecamtiv Mecarbil Related to Increased Contractility in Heart Failure) will evaluate the effect of treatment with omecamtiv mecarbil compared to placebo on exercise capacity as determined by cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) in patients with HFrEF. The study is being conducted by Cytokinetics in collaboration with Amgen, with funding and strategic support from Servier.

Shares of Amgen have dropped 4.9% compared with the industry’s decline of 14.5%.


Amgen has several interesting candidates in its pipeline, which represents a significant commercial potential. The company is focusing on therapeutic areas like oncology/hematology, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, bone health, nephrology and neuroscience.

Important pipeline candidates include Evenity/romosozumab being evaluated for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women at increased risk for fracture and is under review in EU and United States; CNP520 is a BACE inhibitor for Alzheimer's disease and is in phase III study; and tezepelumab being developed for the treatment of severe asthma and is in phase III. Tezepelumab is also in a phase IIa study, being developed for atopic dermatitis.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Amgen currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks are Celgene Corp. (CELG - Free Report) and BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (BDSI - Free Report) . Both the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Celgene’s earnings per share estimates have increased from $10.21 to $10.69 for 2019 and from $11.63 to $12.62 for 2020 in the past 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in all the trailing four quarters, with average of 2.65%.

BioDelivery Sciences’ loss per share estimates have narrowed from 25 cents to 22 cents for 2019 in the past 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in three of the trailing four quarters, with average of 8.57%.

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