Amgen revenue falls slightly as Lilly COVID deal contributes less

FILE PHOTO: An Amgen sign is seen at the company's office in South San Francisco

By Sriparna Roy and Michael Erman

(Reuters) -Amgen Inc on Tuesday said its fourth-quarter revenue fell slightly as a 4% increase in sales of its own drugs was offset by lower revenue from its deal to manufacture COVID-19 antibody treatments for Eli Lilly and Co.

Amgen reported revenue of $6.84 billion for the quarter, down from $6.85 billion a year ago, but ahead of analysts' estimates of $6.77 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Amgen partnered with Lilly in 2020 to increase the supply of its COVID-19 antibody treatments. U.S. health regulators pulled the authorization for Lilly's last COVID antibody in November after determining it would not be effective against currently circulating coronavirus variants.

The biotechnology company's listed "other revenue," which includes the manufacturing deal, fell to $287 million from $575 million last year.

Amgen product sales were led by a 14% jump in osteoporosis drug Prolia to a quarterly record of $992 million.

Adjusted earnings per share decreased to $4.09 from $4.40 a year ago, just missing analyst estimates of $4.10.

The biotechnology company forecast 2023 revenue of $26 billion to $27.2 billion, excluding the impact of its anticipated acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics Plc. The company expects to provide an updated forecast once that deal closes.

Analysts estimate $27.17 billion in revenue for the full year, according to Refinitiv. Amgen shares were off less than 1% in extended trading.

Earlier in December, Amgen agreed to buy Horizon in a deal valued at $27.8 billion, fortifying its rare diseases portfolio with the access to blockbuster thyroid eye disease treatment Tepezza.

"The announced acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics, which we expect to complete in the first half of this year, represents a compelling opportunity to serve more patients and strengthen our growth profile," Amgen Chief Executive Robert Bradway said in a statement.

Amgen said on Tuesday that the Federal Trade Commission had requested more information for its review of the deal. Last week, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren asked antitrust regulator for more scrutiny of the acquisition, saying it could cause price increases on lifesaving drugs and prevent competitors from entering the market.

Earlier on Tuesday, Amgen launched Amjevita, the first U.S. biosimilar of AbbVie Inc's huge-selling arthritis treatment Humira. It began selling it in Europe in October 2018 after Humira first went off patent.

(Reporting by Sriparna Roy in Bengaluru and Michael Erman in Maplewood, New Jersey; Editing by Bill Berkrot)