Amgen Inc., with its erythropoietin franchise under pressure, reported revenues of $3.73 billion for the second quarter, a 3 percent increase from the year-earlier period.

The Thousand Oaks, Calif., company had adjusted earnings per share, excluding certain expenses, of $1.12 for the quarter, an increase of 7 percent compared to $1.05 during the second quarter of 2006. The figure beat the $1.06 consensus from analysts.

Adjusted net income, excluding stock option expense and certain other expenses, increased 2 percent to $1.27 billion vs. $1.24 billion a year earlier.

"This has been a difficult period, and this quarter's low growth is a reflection of that reality," Kevin Sharer, chairman & CEO, said in a news release. "That said, we are making progress on many fronts to change this trend and return Amgen to strong future performance."

Total product sales increased 3 percent to $3.6 billion, with U.S. sales accounting for about $2.9 billion of that total. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, total product sales increased 2 percent and international product sales increased 9 percent.

Worldwide sales of Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) decreased 10 percent to $949 million, which Amgen said principally was driven by a decline in U.S. demand. U.S. Aranesp sales were $578 million vs. $713 million in the second quarter last year. In large part, Amgen said, the drop was due to unfavorable label and reimbursement issues related to the anemia drug that have dogged the company this year. Sales of another EPO product, Epogen (epoetin alfa), increased 2 percent in the quarter to $624 million.

Combined worldwide sales of Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) and Neupogen (filgrastim) increased 4 percent to $1.04 billion in the second quarter. Sales of Enbrel (etanercept) increased 14 percent in the second quarter to $823 million, while worldwide sales of Sensipar (cinacalcet HCl) increased 37 percent to $108 million. Sales of Vectibix (panitumumab) were $45 million in the quarter, down from $51 million in the first quarter of 2007. Amgen said the decrease was driven by customer reaction to unfavorable PACCE study results released late in the first quarter, and a decline in EGFr class growth in metastatic colorectal cancer.

During the second quarter, Amgen repurchased about 77 million shares of its common stock at a total cost of $4.5 billion. In July, Amgen's board authorized a new stock repurchase program of $5 billion, leaving it with $6.5 billion remaining under the repurchase programs. Average diluted shares for the second quarter were 1.132 billion.

Amgen said sales and expense trends are consistent with a full-year 2007 adjusted earnings-per-share target of $4.30. Its acquisitions of Alantos Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Ilypsa Inc., for $300 million and $420 million, respectively, are expected to reduce adjusted EPS by 2 cents, to $4.28. The company said the outlook also may be affected by upcoming meetings related to reimbursement and safety issues on its EPO drugs, in August and September, respectively. (See BioWorld Today, May 11, 2007, May 16, 2007, and July 24, 2007.)

Amgen's stock (NASDAQ:AMGN) fell 54 cents Friday to close at $55.62.

In other earnings news:

• Sepracor Inc., of Marlborough, Mass., saw its stock fall 28.7 percent on second-quarter earnings that were sharply lower than expected, and reduced full-year guidance. The company separately said it submitted a marketing authorization application seeking European approval of the insomnia drug Luniva (Lunesta, eszopiclone). And Sepracor entered an agreement with Eisai Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, on development and commercialization of eszopiclone for the Japanese market. Sepracor is entitled to an initial payment and potential milestone and royalty payments from that deal. In its earnings report, Sepracor reported second-quarter revenues of $278.1 million, up 5.2 percent from a year earlier. Net income was $6.1 million, or 5 cents per diluted share, down from 10 cents in the year-ago period. Analysts were expecting income of about 36 cents per share. Sales of Lunesta grew 2.7 percent to $143 million vs. the second quarter of 2006, despite, Sepracor said, introduction of the generic competitor zolpidem tartrate, which occurred during the quarter. Sales of Xopenex inhalation solution, a short-acting beta-agonist for the treatment or prevention of bronchospasm in patients with reversible obstructive airway disease, had revenues of $104.9 million for the second quarter (vs. $115.7 million a year ago). Sepracor shares (NASDAQ:SEPR) fell $10.97 Friday to close at $27.29.