Amgen, Adaptive Biotech Enter COVID-19 Antibody Alliance

04.02.20

Aims to accelerate the development of a potential antibody against COVID-19 as fast as possible

Amgen and Adaptive Biotechnologies have entered a collaboration to discover and develop fully human neutralizing antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 to potentially prevent or treat COVID-19. The exclusive collaboration brings together Adaptive's immune medicine platform for the identification of virus-neutralizing antibodies with Amgen's expertise in immunology and novel antibody therapy development.

Neutralizing antibodies defend healthy cells by interfering with the biological function of an invading virus. These antibodies may be used therapeutically to treat someone currently fighting the disease and can be given to people who have heightened risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, such as healthcare workers.

Adaptive will extend its high throughput platform to rapidly screen the massive genetic diversity of the B cell receptors from individuals that have recovered from COVID-19. This enables the identification of tens of thousands of naturally occurring antibodies from survivors of COVID-19 to select those that neutralize SARS-CoV-2. Amgen will then leverage its antibody engineering and drug development capabilities to select, develop and manufacture antibodies designed to bind and neutralize SARS-CoV-2. deCODE Genetics, a subsidiary of Amgen located in Iceland, will provide genetic insights from patients who were previously infected with COVID-19.

The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enable the parties to start work immediately and are planning to execute a Collaboration and License Agreement. Terms of the agreement are not being disclosed. Both companies aim to accelerate the development of a potential antibody against COVID-19 as fast as possible for patients in need.