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Feature Story

Cover Story: Strategy: Amgen on notice

How splitting up doesn't address Amgen's struggles creating value-driving assets

By Erin McCallister, Senior Editor

Amgen Inc. left itself open to the shot fired by activist investor Third Point LLC by failing to apply the ruthless discipline to pipeline pruning that other large companies have undertaken under new management regimes.

In an Oct. 21 letter to the hedge fund's investors, Third Point assailed Amgen's R&D output and proposed splitting the big biotech into two companies. The investor said new product launches haven't kept pace with Amgen's R&D spending, and the few drugs that have been launched have been unable to match sales of the legacy drugs that continue to account for the lion's share of Amgen's top line.

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