Amgen Inc. is considering revising the safety information on its best-selling drug Aranesp after a new study showed the anemia treatment may increase the likelihood of death in women with cancer.


Amgen said in a statement late Thursday that an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will meet before the end of next March to review the use and effects of the anti-anemia drugs such as Aranesp. The drug had sales of more than $4.1 billion of last year.


The Thousand Oaks-based biotech company said that a preliminary study showed more breast-cancer patients who took Aranesp died or had growing tumors than those not receiving the drug. Aranesp treats anemia induced by chemotherapy and kidney disease.


Amgen agreed last month to add the strongest warning labels possible on the drug, stating high doses of the drug cause tumor growth and expedite death in cancer patients.


Shares of Amgen dropped 4.9 percent to $52.47 in afternoon trading Friday on the Nasdaq. Shares in Amgen have slipped 27 percent so far this year.

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