Anemia is a condition in which the
body does not have enough healthy
red blood cells. Red blood cells
provide oxygen to body tissues.

In March 2012 Affymax Inc. won U.S.
approval for Omontys, a competitor to
Amgen Inc.’s anemia treatments that
have been the only options for patients
with loss of kidney function for more
than 20 years.

The Food and Drug Administration
cleared Omontys, known as
peginesatide, for patients with chronic
kidney disease on dialysis. The drug
will be Palo Alto, California-based
Affymax’s first marketed product.

“There has been and continues to be
a lot of interest across the board from
dialysis providers,” John Orwin, chief
executive officer for Affymax, said.

Approval of the drug -- intended to be
used once a month instead of as often
as three times a week for Amgen’s
Epogen -- may save money for
Medicare, the U.S. health program for
the elderly and disabled. Peginesatide
may generate as much as $700 million
in peak sales by 2017 according to an

Amgen has  a monopoly right now and
that’s not ideal because it’s occurred
for two decades. Small and medium
dialysis centers are price sensitive.
Peginesatide would be the choice for
these dialysis providers.

Dialysis removes toxins from the blood
when kidneys can’t.