At Amgen, we believe drug discovery starts with a deep understanding of biology. This understanding guides the critical choice of which disease target to pursue, and it also allows us to choose the right tool for that target—the modality, or structural template, most likely to optimize efficacy and safety.
Amgen has one of the industry’s most expansive modality toolkits. It encompasses small molecules, which can be made using chemistry; intermediate-sized molecules like peptides; and large biologic molecules, such as antibodies and other types of therapeutic proteins. Amgen’s product portfolio and pipeline also includes many novel modalities, such as peptibodies, BiTE® antibody constructs, and other bispecific molecules, antibody-drug conjugates, and oncolytic immunotherapy.
Moreover, Amgen has integrated this broad modality platform into a single drug discovery organization. We have broken down the silos that typically separate small, medium, and large molecule scientists to enhance teamwork and create cross-fertilization among diverse skill sets. Our goal is to ensure a “Biology First” approach to discovery by eliminating stand-alone groups that look at disease through the lens of a single drug modality.
Where good choices exist between different forms of medicines, we recognize Amgen’s deep expertise in biologics development and manufacturing. Biologics also tend to have higher success rates in clinical development. However, we estimate that roughly two-thirds of drug targets can’t be accessed by large molecules, so Amgen maintains a strong expertise in small molecule drug discovery and development.