Amgen and Adaptive Biotechnologies join a long list of drug and vaccine development partnerships to combat COVID-19

With the advent of COVID-19 reaching over one million cases worldwide, a concerted effort will be needed to approach this growing problem.  Drug development partnerships between companies that complement their areas of expertise will more rapidly facilitate research on this disease, says GlobalData.

Philipp Rosenbaum, PhD, Infectious Diseases Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “While past historical data predicts that many of these development candidates will probably be terminated during clinical trial testing due to lack of efficacy or safety issues, we can be hopeful that the large number of collaborations could help find a possible treatment for COVID-19.”

Amgen and Seattle-based Adaptive Biotechnologies are one of these new drug development partnerships to combat COVID-19.  Adaptive will use its knowledge and expertise in the identification of virus-neutralizing antibodies.  Amgen will provide its expertise for the development and manufacturing of the antibody therapy. They join a long list of drug and vaccine development partnerships to combat COVID-19.

Rosenbaum continues:  “The ultimate goal to prevent reoccurring outbreaks of COVID-19 has been spearheaded by Moderna’s collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for its mRNA-based vaccine, which started its Phase I clinical trial at the end of March. Another mRNA vaccine is being developed by the German biotech BioNTech and supported by Pfizer and Fosun Pharmaceuticals in China.”

Pharmaceutical companies have now jumped into this race for finding treatments for COVID-19 as there is an urgent need to combine innovative approaches, clinical trials expertise, and the capacity for large scale drug engineering and production.  Further partnerships have emerged for the achievement of these goals.

Rosenbaum continued “Johnson & Johnson partnered with the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), in a $1B deal with the ambitious plan to add capacity for the production of one billion vaccine doses. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is not directly involved in COVID-19 drug development, but announced plans to make its adjuvant technology available to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

“Adjuvants are commonly used in vaccines to enhance their immune response, especially for older patients with weaker immune systems, but are also a possibility to elicit immunogenicity with a lower antigen dose. Other partnerships include VBI Vaccines and the National Research Council of Canada to develop a vaccine for the three different coronaviruses responsible for COVID-19, MERS, and SARS, based on VBI’s enveloped virus-like particle (eVLP) platform technology.”

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