Amgen's Embargo Victory


This morning the world's biggest biotech company released the highly-anticipated detailed test results on its crucial, late-stage experimental osteoporosis drug known as D-mab. And they look good.

The data came out at a scientific conference in Montreal, but because Amgen didn't want to be seen as hyping the numbers, the company put them out in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing called an 8-K rather than in a press release. AMGN officials are still conducting media and analyst/investor briefings this afternoon.

The lead researcher presented the numbers at 9:45 am ET. But, once again, the organization--in this case, the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR)--was orginally planning on lifting the media embargo an hour later at 10:45 am ET. There were analysts and investors at the conference and they were immediately sending out emails because the stock popped right away.

In addition, fortunately, an AMGN spokesperson told me the company prevailed on ASBMR, telling the organization that the data were material and could not be held back. So, AMGN posted the 8-K on the SEC's website simultaneous with the start of the 9:45 a.m. session. That's where I found it. An AMGN media relations staffer sent it to me and my producer nine minutes later. If the company had not gotten the ASBMR to permit AMGN to release the information all at the same time, we in the financial media would have once again been put in the position of technically breaking an embargo. Progress, one scientific organization at a time.

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Because of the turmoil in the financials sector, we got the news on as an "Alert" in the form of what's called a banner at the bottom of the TV screen. And we showed that the stock was hitting a new high on the news, even on a day when most of the big-cap biopharmas are taking another hit.

Questions? Comments?