September 28, 2023
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Amgen inks drug development deal worth up to $1.9B


Thousand Oaks-based Amgen has reached an agreement with Generate Biomedicines, a Massachusetts-based therapeutics company, to research, discover and create protein therapeutics, the company announced Jan. 6.

According to the agreement, Amgen, one of the largest biotech companies in the world, will pay $50 million up front to fund the initial five programs, with a potential transaction value of $1.9 billion plus future costs.

Additionally, Amgen has the option to nominate up to five additional programs at additional costs. For each program, Amgen will pay up to $370 million in future milestones and percentage royalties up to low double digits.

Amgen will also participate in a future financing round for Generate.

“We are now at a scientific hinge point, where computational approaches can advance our knowledge of biology and further drive our ability to design the right molecule for some of the most challenging targets,” David M. Reese, executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen, said in a news release. “We believe Generate Biomedicine’s integrated in silico design and wet lab capabilities combined with Amgen’s strength in protein engineering can accelerate our drug discovery efforts, generating novel protein sequences with optimal therapeutic properties.”

Generate Biomedicines works in the field of generative biology, which leverages machine learning and AI to program novel protein therapeutics.

Amgen’s biologics drug discovery expertise combined with Generate’s can shave time off discovery timelines while also generating potential lead molecules that have predictable manufacturability and clinical behavior, Amgen’s news release read.

“With our technology platform, we are able to expand beyond just proteins that are found in nature – creating de novo, purpose-built proteins capable of performing any desired function under timelines that have not been possible through other approaches,” Generate CEO Mike Nally said in the release.

Amgen’s stock closed at $227.29 for the week ended Jan. 7, up 1.6% from open on Jan. 3.