Amgen is celebrating a 30% leap in fourth-quarter profits to $1.02 billion, after strong sales helped swell its performance.

The world's largest biotechnology group (by sales) booked net income of $1.4 billion and earnings per share of $1.82, comfortably beating analyst expectations (Nomura forecasts of $1.2 billion and $1.60, respectively).

Fourth quarter revenues of $5 billion also exceeded Street expectations of $4.7 billion, as higher expenses from the integration of Onyx were offset by strong sales of key drugs.

Of particular note: sales of Prolia/XGEVA (denosumab) jumped 41% to $522 million; Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) revenues were up 10.5% at just shy of $1.1 billion; Epogen (epoetin alfa) grew 9.6% to $525 million; and Sensipar/Mimpara saw a sales hike of 20% to $256 million.

Amgen's chairman and chief executive Robert Bradway said the firm delivered both financially and strategically during 2013 and, looking forward, a stream of Phase III data in the coming year is expected to keep interest alight.

The datasets to look out for first include Kyprolis (carfilzomib) in multiple myeloma (ASPIRE and FOCUS trials) and brodalumab in psoriasis, which are expected within the first half of this year.

Cholesterol drug hits targets

Meanwhile, the company also revealed that evolocumab hit its co-primary endpoints in a Phase III trial in patients with high cholesterol taking statins.

The percent reduction from baseline in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) at week 12 and the mean percent reduction from baseline in LDL-C at weeks 10 and 12 were found to be consistent with those seen in the Phase II LAPLACE-TIMI 57 (42%-66%) and MENDEL studies (41%-51%).

Despite the availability of statins it is estimated that around one-third of patients in the US fail to reach their LDL-C goals, highlighting the need for alternative options.

Amgen is planning on submitting a global regulatory filing for the drug in 2014.