Biotech Amgen, Adaptive Tech Join Forces on New Coronavirus Drug

U.S. biotechnology company Amgen Inc. (AMGN) is teaming up with Adaptive Biotechnologies Corp. (ADPT) to discover a drug to potentially treat coronavirus patients.

The two companies announced Thursday they signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enable them to start work immediately due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world. Terms of the agreement are not being disclosed. Amgen and Adaptive Biotechnologies join a list of companies partnering up to develop a COVID-19 drug.

The collaboration brings together Adaptive’s proprietary immune medicine platform for the identification of virus-neutralizing antibodies with Amgen’s expertise in immunology and novel antibody therapy development.

“Working with Adaptive and using their viral-neutralizing antibody platform will expedite our ability to bring a promising new medicine into clinical trials as quickly as possible,” said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer at Amgen.

The partnership will combine their expertise to discover and develop fully human neutralizing antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 to potentially prevent or treat COVID-19. Neutralizing antibodies defend healthy cells by interfering with the biological function of an invading virus. These antibodies may be used therapeutically to treat someone currently fighting the disease and can be given to people who have heightened risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, such as healthcare workers.

Overall Wall Street analysts have a Moderate Buy consensus rating for Amgen split into 14 Buys, 4 Holds and 1 Sell. The $246.56 average price target sees room for 18% upside potential in the stock in the next 12 months (See Amgen stock analysis on TipRanks)

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