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Amgen Epogen Profit Margins Could Rise 1% After Columbia Patent Expires

Executive Summary

Amgen could see its profit margins on Epogen increase by 1% in August if Columbia University fails to obtain a five-year extension on a biotechnology process patent.

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Patent extensions

Supplemental appropriations bill is being eyed as vehicle for legislative proposals that could alternatively improve and hamper brand-name pharmaceutical industry profitability. A measure to provide patent restoration for "pipeline" drugs - notably Schering's Claritin - has been expanded to include animal drugs, food additives and medical devices. Sen. Gregg (R-N.H.) is seeking an extension for a Columbia University patent on which many biotech companies pay royalties (1"The Pink Sheet" May 22, p. 27). A vote on the bill is expected the week of June 26

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