Amgen Inc. shares gained $1.75 to $55 on Wednesday afterOppenheimer & Co. analyst Jeffrey Casdin made positivecomments about the agreement between Amgen and ChugaiPharmaceuticals Inc. regarding intellectual property rights toG-CSF.

In the deal, announced late Tuesday, Chugai disclaimed twopatents that were in litigation and granted Amgen anirrevocable, exclusive, royalty-free license for all remainingU.S. patent rights Chugai may have to the drug.

"As far as I was concerned, the threat of Chugai to Neupogen inthe U.S. was small," Casdin told BioWorld. "This agreementeliminates even that shred of a possibility."

For large institutions that buy a stock such as Amgen(NASDAQ:AMGN) to get exposure to biotech, he added, "it'simportant to know if there's any element of catastrophic riskleft in the company, no matter how small the odds."

Casdin said that Chugai appears to be close to filing forEuropean marketing approval of its granulocyte colonystimulating factor.

In other trading, Applied Immune Sciences (NASDAQ:AISX) lost$1.88 to $14 on more than 300,000 shares traded. ImmunoGenInc. (NASDAQ:IMGN) dropped $2 to $10.75.

The AMEX Biotechnology Index fell 4.12 to 144.15, althoughbioscience stocks not in the index generally were little changed.-- KB

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