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Amgen’s COVID-19 manufacturing deal with Lilly helped compensate for lagging Aimovig, Enbrel in Q4

As Amgen struggles to find growth from its own drugs, the company got a nice late-2021 revenue bump from its manufacturing partnership with Eli Lilly.

Monday afternoon, Amgen reported $575 million in fourth-quarter “other” revenues, nearly double the amount the company recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020. Revenues from the Lilly partnership drove the company’s overall 3% revenue increase to $6.8 billion for the period, the company said.

Over the past year, Amgen pulled down $1.682 billion in “other” revenues, a result of its collaboration with Eli Lilly to help supply COVID-19 antibody treatments. In September 2020—anticipating a rush to manufacture and provide its COVID-19 meds—Lilly struck a deal with Amgen to help it produce the antibodies.

The agreement was in place before Lilly gained an FDA nod less than two months later for bamlanivimab, a treatment it developed along with AbCellera. In February 2021, Lilly won another authorization for its antibody cocktail of bamlanivimab and etesevimab.

The partnership grew out of a consortium previously established by Lilly, Amgen, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Genentech and AbCellera to share monoclonal antibody secrets to get each up to speed on manufacturing best practices.

In the scale-up to produce COVID-19 drugs, such partnerships weren’t uncommon. Regeneron, for example, turned to Roche for help with antibody supplies.

Amgen’s deal with Lilly has helped it weather a trying period for some of its main offerings as total product sales fell 1% in the fourth quarter.

Sales of migraine medicine Aimovig fell 13% in the fourth quarter. While Aimovig volumes grew last year, those gains were more than offset by a lower net selling price, the company said. The price reduction has been brought on by increased competition.

Similarly, sales of rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel have sagged. Amgen reported an 11% drop in revenue for the quarter on Enbrel, which also faces an increasingly competitive immunology market.

Also coming up short of analyst expectations for the quarter was Lumakras, which generated $45 million during the quarter compared with expectations of $61 million. Otezla, Neulasta and Repatha also missed consensus expectations.

For the fourth quarter, Amgen reported revenue of $6.8 billion, which was up 3% from the same period in 2020. For the year, Amgen’s revenue came in at $26 billion, a 2% increase from 2020, driven primarily by the Lilly partnership, the company said.