Amgen’s adjusted net income for the first quarter has climbed 14% to $1.28 billion, while turnover was up 9% to $3.59 billion.

Revenues from its anaemia drug Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) were pretty much flat at $627 million, though they fell 8% in the USA. However sales of its older erythropoiesis stimulating agent, Epogen (epoetin alfa), were up 10% at $623 million, due to an increase in demand.

Combined turnover of Amgen’s white blood cell stimulators Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) and Neupogen (filgrastim) increased 10% to $1.18 billion, while sales of the anti-inflammatory Enbrel (etanercept), partnered with Pfizer’s Wyeth unit and sold by Amgen in North America, were up 6% at $804 million. Sensipar (cinacalcet), for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in dialysis patients, rose 21% to $179 million, while sales of the colorectal cancer drug Vectibix (panitumumab) were up to $67 million from $43 million.

Amgen chief executive Kevin Sharer said the company enjoyed a solid start to 2010 and “will take appropriate steps to manage the impact of the new US health care reform law”. The company expects the latter to lower revenues by $200-$250 million, but Piper Jaffray analyst Ian Somaiya said the firm “continues to find leverage” in its cost structure to keep profits healthy.

Much of Amgen’s future success depends on how its investigational bone drug Prolia (denosumab) fares. It is under review with both US and European regulators and a decision from the former is expected by July.