Guest: The Generative Biology Revolution

Episode 4: Accelerating Drug Discovery

Suzanne Edavettal joined Amgen as executive director for Protein Engineering at Amgen in 2020. She has broad scientific background in the pharmaceutical industry with extensive experience in protein biochemistry, biophysics, and structural biology. Her team responsible for engineering all non-BiTE protein therapeutics in Amgen's pipeline, including mAbs and multispecific mAbs. Her team is developing and deploying engineering and protein sequence design platforms that will enable multivariate optimization across a large number of protein attributes, for example biophysical properties like thermostability or surface charge, and therapeutic properties like PK and immunogenicity. This requires specialized predictive assays for therapeutic molecule screening and specialized machine learning algorithms for therapeutic design that focus on these unique and challenging protein attributes. Her team is also investing in advanced recombinant platforms that will shrink engineering timelines and increase throughput while maintaining high-quality protein production for predictive assays.

Prior to joining Amgen, Suzanne was Scientific Director for New Platforms and Technologies at Janssen Biotherapeutics. During her tenure, she established a record of advancing biotherapeutic molecular candidates and new platform technologies from early stage research into development. Her leadership at Janssen resulted in the discovery of talquetamab (GPRC5DxCD3 bispecific T-cell engager uniquely targeting a G-protein coupled receptor), the development of a brain delivery platform for antibody therapeutics, and a novel mAb:peptide conjugate platform. Prior to Janssen, Suzanne worked for both Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb supporting small molecule drug discovery through structure-based drug design.

Suzanne holds a B.S. from Beloit College and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Wistar Institute at University of Pennsylvania and has authored numerous patents, publications, and book chapters.