From the moment our Board of Directors entered the Amgen labs in South San Francisco, affectionately known as the “Birthplace of Biotech,” you could see their collective enthusiasm for the science and the possibility it holds for patients.
The Amgen South San Francisco facility is home to researchers pushing the boundaries of science in order to pursue transformative new treatments for serious illnesses like cancer, heart disease and metabolic disease. Flavius Martin, Vice President, Oncology and Inflammation Discovery Research, and other R&D leaders hosted the visit, giving the Board an update on Amgen’s R&D progress.
The Board donned lab coats and proper protective equipment to prepare for a one-hour experiential journey through Amgen’s drug discovery process. Board members experienced four critical stages, including identification of the structure of potential targets:
- RNA sequencing to better understand gene expression
- Live measurement of cardiomyocyte activity to better understand cardiovascular disease
- Cryo-electron microscopy to study the architecture of cells, viruses and proteins at molecular resolution
- Advances in Amgen’s BiTE (Bispecific T-cell Engager) technology to engage the immune system to better fight cancer
At a time when it takes at least 10 years on average for a new medicine to complete the journey from initial discovery to the marketplace, Board members were able to appreciate the hard work our scientists do up-front to help meet patients’ needs down the road.