Under the deal, MannKind is paying $500,000 for the option to license and also is buying 2.4 million units of SemBioSys shares at a price per unit of 83 cents. The option period ends March 31.

MannKind is on track to submit its Afresa application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by late January or early February, Edstrom said.



Happier Holidays

Amgen Inc. employees ended 2008 on a jollier note than a year ago.

The Thousand Oaks biotech not only submitted a potential billion-dollar blockbuster drug for FDA approval, but had a potential class-action lawsuit against it dismissed that might have further weakened its anemia franchise.

Amgen officials said Dec. 22 that the company had filed its application for permission to market denosumab to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, and to patients undergoing breast or prostate cancer treatment taken together a huge group of patients.

The next day, a federal court in Los Angeles dismissed a lawsuit against Amgen and two kidney dialysis providers including DaVita Inc. of El Segundo that had alleged illegal promotion of Amgen's anemia drugs. The court said the complaint should have been made to regulators rather than a court.

This time last year, roughly 1,350 Amgen employees took buyouts or were laid off as the company reorganized in the face of slowing sales of Aranesp and Epogen anemia drugs. The company's market cap had fallen 33 percent as it added warning labels to say the drugs at high dosages could increase the chance of cancer or other life-threatening diseases.

The company's share price has largely recovered, up 24 percent since the beginning of 2008 as positive news about denosumab's late-stage clinical trials began dribbling out.

Staff reporter Deborah Crowe can be reached dcrowe@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 232.

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