Second shareholder suit filed against Amgen

LOS ANGELES – A class-action suit against Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) was announced late yesterday by the law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody Inc. of Los Angeles and New York.

“We believe the allegations have no merit,” said David Polk, Amgen’s executive director of corporate communications and media relations.

It was not immediately clear whether this lawsuit was related to the class-action suit announced April 17 by San Diego-based Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP.

The new lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, accuses Amgen of violating the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. It seeks to recover damages on behalf of all investors who acquired publicly traded Amgen securities – whether through individual purchase or as part of a or 401(k) or other fund – between May 4, 2005, and March 9, 2007.

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During that period, the complaint says, the company marketed its anti-anemia drugs Epogen and Aranesp for “off-label” uses, and sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the drugs each year for such uses. The drugs encourage the creation of red blood cells. But in October 2006, researchers found that Aranesp appeared to increase the death rate of patients in a cancer study, the complaint says. (Results in patients with other kinds of cancer have been mixed, subsequent study reports show.)

The results were reported in February 2007, and in March, the FDA ordered Amgen to place “black box” warning about off-label uses on both Epogen and Aranesp.

“These revelations caused Amgen’s stock price to decline,” SS&B said. The firm contends that Amgen failed to disclose the research findings in a timely fashion, and thereby harmed investors who purchased shares before the findings were disclosed.

Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) – based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., with operations in 10 other U.S. locations, including West Greenwich – is a biotechnology company focusing on the development and production of medicines for human use. Additional information is available at www.amgen.com.

Information about the lawsuit, and about Stull, Stull & Brody, is available at www.ssbny.com.