A:

Biotech giant Amgen Inc (AMGN) bills itself as one of the first biotechnology firms. It was founded in 1980 and has grown into a firm with 20,000 employees, a market capitalization of nearly $100 billion, and approximately $20 billion in annual sales. Below is an overview of its main rivals.

Product Rivals

Any pharmaceutical or biotech firm is technically a rival to Amgen, though there is a smaller subset of rivals that sell similar drugs to Amgen. For instance, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) sells Procrit, which is a competitor to Aranesp and Amgen’s stable of anemia treatments. Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) also sells an increasing array of biosimilar drugs to Aranesp  Amgen’s Enbrel helps treat arthritis, which competes with AbbVie’s (ABBV) popular Humira drug. Celgene (CELG) sells Revlimid to treat myeloma and Amgen is in the process of getting into the field with the acquisition of Onyx and its Kyprolis drug, also for the treatment of myeloma.      

Biotech Competition

In general, Amgen competes with other large biotech firms. Biogen Idec (BIIB) sells a number of drugs to help treat multiple sclerosis and is seeing success with the launch of a couple of drugs to treat hemophilia. Celgene sells drugs that help treat cancer and immune-inflammatory diseases. Gilead Sciences (GILD) offers a number of drugs that help patients suffering from HIV and recently released Solvadi, which has had great success in helping patients with hepatitis C infections.

The Bottom Line

A number of firms continue to muscle into Amgen’s core businesses of treating anemia, arthritis, and myeloma. Generic versions will also continue to be introduced as Amgen’s drug patents expire over time. Most investment bankers and analysts, however, still project Amgen will remain profitable over time. 

At the time of writing, Ryan C. Fuhrmann is long shares of Amgen and Gilead but did not own shares in any of the other companies mentioned in this article.

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