Amgen has posted a strong set of results for the third quarter, which saw net income climb 24% to $1.39 billion.

However turnover was down 2% to $3.81 billion, as revenues from its anaemia drug Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) fell 19% to $685 million due to reimbursement problems and label changes. Sales of its older erythropoiesis stimulating agent, Epogen (epoetin alfa) were up 5% at $663 million.

Combined turnover of Amgen’s white blood cell stimulators Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) and Neupogen (filgrastim) increased 2% to $1.21 billion, while sales of the anti-inflammatory Enbrel (etanercept), partnered with Wyeth, were up 3% to $924 million. Sensipar (cinacalcet), for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in dialysis patients, rose 2% to $165 million, while sales of the colorectal cancer drug Vectibix (panitumumab) were up 42% at $58 million.

Amgen said that full-year 2009 earnings, excluding items, should be in the region of $4.90-$5.05 per share, up from its previous $4.80-$4.95 estimate. Revenues should be towards the upper end of its $14.40-$14.80 billion guidance.

The numbers topped analyst estimates but Amgen’s shares fell despite the results. The decline is due to investor concerns about Prolia (denosumab) after the US Food and Drug Administration issued a complete response letter about the drug earlier this week. The agency has asked for further information on the design of Amgen's previously submitted post-marketing surveillance programme and a request for a new clinical plan to support approval of Prolia in the postmenopausal osteoporosis indication.