At a time when technological breakthroughs are revolutionizing how drugs are discovered, Amgen’s strategy aims to fully exploit the emerging opportunities. We have made aggressive investments in gene-based discovery and new therapeutic platforms, and we’ve focused on diseases where our science supports the potential for major advancements.
In recent years, ultra-high-throughput DNA sequencing has accelerated the search for genetic variants that are strongly linked to disease risk. Through our acquisition of deCODE Genetics, Amgen is advancing an early-stage pipeline based on newly discovered genes with exciting potential. This strategy builds upon Amgen’s record of turning genetic insights into new medicines. Seven Amgen therapies approved for use in patients can be traced back to genes first cloned in our own labs.
To successfully pursue new targets emerging from genetics, we benefit greatly from Amgen core strengths in biology and protein engineering. Newly discovered disease genes may code for proteins with unknown functions, and these novel proteins may also prove very hard to engage with standard types of drugs. To interdict challenging targets, we need to elucidate complex biology before choosing the best drug modality from our toolkit—or engineering a new modality.
To sharpen our focus on cancer treatments that work by enlisting the body’s immune defenses, we have merged our Discovery Research oncology and inflammation groups into a single organization. This consolidation aims to take full advantage of Amgen’s immuno-oncology platforms, including our novel BiTE® antibody constructs—bispecific T cell engagers—as well as our oncolytic immunotherapy.
In all our Discovery Research programs, we have raised the bar in terms of the level of differentiation we expect from Amgen therapies. Our goal is to deliver new treatments that offer clear benefits and large effects, such as long-term survival in cancer or prevention of migraines or severe asthma attacks.