Amgen Inc. and the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design have announced a partnership to develop protein-building research projects for new medicines, according to a statement from the biotech giant. The Thousand Oaks company has agreed to provide initial funding for three sponsored research projects to increase the versatility of traditional protein-based medicines, including Amgen’s BiTE cancer therapies. Both entities hope the collaboration will expand the types of tumors that can be targeted using protein-based medicines, Amgen said. “This is a broad collaboration that will cover multiple projects, and we are hoping to build strong working relationships among scientists on both sides,” said Dr. Raymond Deshaies, vice president of global research at Amgen. “The goal isn’t just to solve a few specific problems but to create approaches that can be applied very generally across a large suite of problems.” Shares of Amgen (AMGN) closed Tuesday down 39 cents, or a fraction of a percent, to $184.44 on the Nasdaq.