Amgen Inc. announced Thursday that revenues for the first quarterending March 31 were $364 million, while earnings per share for thequarter were 66 cents, both increases from the same period last year.Revenues for the first quarter in 1993 were $310.2 million and earningsper share were 55 cents. Revenues, however, dropped slightly from the$365.6 million posted in fourth-quarter 1993. Net income for thequarter was $93.5 million, $91 million in fourth-quarter 1993 and$80.6 million the first quarter of 1993.Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) stock closed at $37.25 Thursday, up $1.25per share.Brandon Fradd, an analyst with Montgomery Securities in SanFrancisco, said the earnings were in line with what he expected."It looks fine," Fradd said. "They have committed to growing revenuesstrongly and they're successful so far."David Kaye, manager of product communications for Amgen(NASDAQ:AMGN), said the slight drop in revenues between thefourth quarter and first quarter is attributable to seasonal fluctuations intreating cancer patients."We feel it's another solid quarter," Kaye told BioWorld. "There's a lotof pressure on price, and there's the natural concerns about our healthcare system."Amgen, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., has two products on the market,which accounted for $345.7 million in sales, a 17 percent increase fromthe same period last year.Neupogen boosts the body's ability to produce white blood cells,specifically neutrophils, which help prevent chemotherapy-inducedbacterial infections. It had worldwide sales of $181.7 million for thequarter, 15 percent more than the first quarter last year. U.S. sales were$132 million, up 10 percent, and international sales increased 20percent to $49.7 million.The other product is Epogen, which is used for treating anemiaassociated with kidney disease, specifically in kidney dialysis patients.It helps the body produce red blood cells. First-quarter sales of Epogenwere $164 million, an increase of 20 percent compared to the samequarter last year.Kaye said Amgen expects sales of the two products to increase withadditional approved indications for their use. The company is hopefulthat FDA approval is very near for Neupogen in treating bone marrowtransplants, and for treating neutropenia, a rare condition in which thebody in unable to produce sufficient quantities of neutrophils.Neupogen is in Phase III trials for treating AIDS patients. Anotherproduct in Phase III is consensus interferon for treating hepatitis C.Amgen also has a number of other products in clinicals. n042294

-- Jim Shrine

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