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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Amgen Partnerships Provide Positive News

 Amgen Inc.’s partnerships have delivered a flurry of positive news, with Eli Lilly & Co.’s COVID-19 drug cleared for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for which Amgen is set to help expand manufacturing capabilities, and promising trial results for an asthma drug jointly developed by Amgen and AstraZeneca.In September, Thousand Oaks-based Amgen announced a global manufacturing collaboration with Eli Lilly in Indianapolis to ramp up production of Lilly’s COVID-19 antibody therapies.Lilly’s most promising COVID treatment, monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab, or LY-CoV-555, is the first of its kind to be authorized for emergency use in a hospital or other health care setting, reports said.The federal government has tasked Lilly with developing 300,000 vials of the drug in the next two months, after striking a $375 million deal with the pharma company, according to CNN Health.Lilly said it had 100,000 doses ready to ship when the authorization was first announced Nov. 9, and will be able to manufacture a million doses by the end of this year. There will be no cost to patients for the treatment.“We are proud to partner with Lilly and leverage our deep technical expertise in antibody development and, in particular, our strong capabilities in the scale up and manufacturing of complex biologics,” Dr. David Reese, vice president of operations at Amgen, said in a statement in September. “This is yet another example of the ways our industry is closely collaborating to combat this devastating disease and help patients around the world access new therapies.”An Amgen spokesperson told the Business Journal the biotech giant has nothing further to add right now about the manufacturing collaboration.Los Angeles County hospitals will receive 1,004 doses of Lilly’s therapeutic, according to a Nov. 17 report from the Los Angeles Daily News.Also, Lilly has partnered with South Korean biotech company Samsung Biologics to bump up global manufacturing, according to a May statement from Samsung. Another company, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in Denmark, was tapped to produce doses of the drug in low- and middle-income countries, according to media reports.Amgen and U.K. biopharma company AstraZeneca also reported positive results for its experimental asthma medication, tesepelumab.A year-long pivotal trial found the drug “significantly reduces” asthma attacks for patients with severe respiratory conditions, if they were also receiving the standard inhaled corticosteroids plus one other controller medication, according to a Reuters report.A subgroup of patients suffering from eosinophil, or the swelling and narrowing of airways due to shortage of a certain white blood cell, also showed improvement when taking tesepelumab.

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