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July 21, 2016

Amgen will pay $95M to settle class action suit

State Treasurer Denise Nappier HBJ File Photo State Treasurer Denise Nappier

Amgen Inc. has agreed to pay $95 million to settle a securities class action suit filed on behalf of investors who bought Amgen securities between April 2004 and May 2007.

How much each investor receives will depend on the number of claims filed and how the court apportions the $95 million, according to a statement from State Treasurer Denise Nappier.

The state treasurer’s office was the lead plaintiff in the suit, which alleged that Amgen, a California-based global biotechnology company, and some of its former executives made misleading statements and omissions concerning the safety and marketing of two of its flagship products – anti-anemia drugs Aranesp and Epogen – including statements that were at odds with clinical studies.

With less than a month before trial and after completing discovery, which entailed analyzing nearly 23 million pages of documents, taking or defending 52 depositions, and reviewing 36 expert reports, the parties reached a tentative agreement to settle the case.

Settlement documents were filed in California federal court Wednesday. The settlement is subject to court approval.

Amgen said in a statement Thursday morning the suit had no merit, but it was in the company’s and stockholders’ best interest to resolve the case because further litigation would be “burdensome and protracted.”

The case began in 2007, at which time the court appointed the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds to serve as the lead plaintiff on behalf of investors who purchased the publicly traded securities of Amgen during the period from April 22, 2004 through May 10, 2007.

A major contributing factor to the length of the case was Amgen’s efforts to block getting securities class actions certified. The company appealed a 2009 order by the District Court to certify the class, which eventually led to Amgen filing a petition requesting that the U.S. Supreme Court review its appeal. In 2013, the state’s litigation team secured a landmark ruling in its favor from the Supreme Court, rejecting Amgen’s appeal.

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