But that's where the comparison ends. Amgen is profitable; Amylin hopes to be cash flow positive by the end of the year and doesn't expect to be profitable on a GAAP measure until the end of 2011. The bigger issue is that Amgen's new osteoporosis drug, Prolia, is really new. The lack of growth from Amgen's other drugs shouldn't affect Prolia's sales.
Amylin's potential blockbuster, on the other hand, is just a line extension of its already approved diabetes drug, Byetta. Don't get me wrong, it's a vast improvement. Thanks to technology from Alkermes
The lack of growth in the number of Byetta patients isn't the end of the world for Amylin; certainly the once-weekly version will be able to get some new patients who aren't currently on Byetta. The twice-daily version has had a hard time competing with oral medications like Merck's
Still, a larger base to convert from would be nice. With the FDA scheduled to make its decision in March, Amylin has one more quarter to grow that base. The new approval of Novo Nordisk's