Thousand Oaks-based Amgen to lay off about 100

Oct. 25--Biotech drugmaker Amgen Inc. has given about 100 employees notice that they will lose their jobs, the Thousand Oaks company said Thursday.

Spokeswoman Kristin Davis attributed the layoffs to "a restructuring or outsourcing effort," but said the employees will get benefits and counseling.

"Impacted individuals are eligible for a comprehensive severance package which provides cash, health insurance and career transition services," Davis said.

Amgen has 6,000 employees in Thousand Oaks and 16,000 worldwide.

The layoffs are the second this year at Amgen. In January, the biotech company laid off 80 employees at its Thousand Oaks headquarters and 80 at other locations.

On Tuesday, Amgen reported a 24 percent increase in third-quarter earnings, trouncing analysts' expectations, as sales of more than six of its drugs increased by double digits.

The announcement came just before Amgen closed its $10.4 billion purchase of Onyx Pharmaceuticals in South San Francisco on Oct. 1. The deal is part of Amgen's strategy to expand beyond its medicines for easing side effects of some cancer treatments and become a major player in the market for pricey cancer drugs.

Amgen beat the profit forecast due to a lower tax rate and strong sales of nearly all its drugs. That included a $155 million U.S. government order for Neupogen, a drug for boosting infection-fighting white blood cells that also protects the body against radiation exposure.

Sales in the quarter were led by Enbrel, up 7 percent at $1.16 billion, followed closely by Neulasta, up 9 percent at $1.14 billion. Prolia and a related bone drug, Xgeva, together were up 41 percent at $439 million. But Aranesp for anemia had a sales decline of 10 percent, to $449 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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