Amgen and Watson to collaborate on biosimilar anti-cancer drugs

June 23, 2017

Traditional pills contain relatively easy-to-make molecules. But, in the words of former Genentech researcher Susan Desmond-Hellmann, ???our drugs are like steak.??? Protein medicines are grown inside genetically modified cells ?? generally either bacteria or hamster cells ?? and slight differences in manufacturing can result in unpredictable changes in safety and efficacy. Getting the copycats approved will mean conducting full clinical trials, which in turn means there will be fewer competitors, higher prices, and bigger sales.

???One of our built in advantages is to use the same quality of manufacturing,??? says Scott Foraker, the Amgen vice president in charge of biosimilars. ???You can trust the new products same way you trusted Amgen biologics over the past 30 years.??? Bob Bradway, Amgen's president and chief operating officer, who is expected to become the biotech giant's next CEO, stated, ???Biosimilars provide an exciting long-term growth opportunity for Amgen. We have a dedicated team to leverage existing capabilities and capacity and drive the success of the collaboration.???