Amgen Inc. said early Monday that its pricey cholesterol drug Repatha significantly reduced patients' need for a high cholesterol blood therapy in a late-stage clinical trial. Repatha also met secondary endpoints in the clinical trial, working on certain cholesterol measures, Amgen said. The blood therapy apheresis removes LDL cholesterol from a patient's blood and is typically used by patients with very high LDL levels. That patient group has "limited treatment options and face the daunting challenge of frequent, invasive and costly procedures," said Sean Harper, Amgen's executive vice president of Research and Development. Repatha is one of a class of PCSK9 inhibitors which haven't sold as well as drugmakers expected, due to their high cost and a lack of data demonstrating PCSK9 inhibitors' benefit relative to statins, which are very inexpensive. Amgen shares surged about 0.8% in pre-market trade Monday. Shares have surged 22.3% over the last three months, compared with a 4.4% rise in the S&P 500 .
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