CEO Chad Robins on Strategic Partnership with Amgen to Develop Therapeutic Antibodies Against COVID-19

04/02/2020

During this time of COVID-19, our communities – both local and global – are coming together in ways we’ve never witnessed before. Every evening, neighborhoods across Seattle and beyond stand outside and make noise to celebrate our healthcare workers on the front lines. Car manufacturers are assembling life-saving patient equipment. Volunteers are sewing masks by the thousands for their local hospitals. Professionally and personally, we are facing this challenge together.

Today, we are proud to announce an exciting new endeavor with our long-time partner Amgen to contribute a meaningful solution to this pandemic. Together, we are in a unique position to combine our expertise to create a specific type of antibody therapy that we think may make a big impact as society continues to grapple with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future.

Neutralizing antibodies defend a healthy cell from a virus by interfering with the biological function of the virus. The combination of SARS-CoV-2 being highly contagious, slowly mutating, and completely new to the human race makes it uniquely well suited to respond to neutralizing antibodies.

Our immune medicine platform will focus on B cells responding to recent infection and screen tens of thousands of antibody secreting cells derived from patients who have recovered from COVID-19. Through a custom computational workflow, Adaptive will select promising, naturally occurring, and fully human antibody candidates for Amgen to turn into a potential therapeutic. Amgen is a well-suited partner with their world-class antibody engineering and drug development capabilities.

At Adaptive, we are in the fortunate position to have an opportunity to make a meaningful difference by pursuing two separate but synergistic applications to combat COVID-19. Less than two weeks ago, we announced the extension of our partnership with Microsoft to find the relevant T-cell receptor signature for COVID-19, which may address some key diagnostic challenges. Study data will be made available to the global scientific community to help speed progress in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the disease. With this new Amgen partnership, we are extending our immune medicine platform to identify and characterize human neutralizing antibodies based on B-cell receptors.

Time is of the essence and our teams are already moving forward with a heightened sense of urgency around this important work. We have enjoyed a long partnership with Amgen and we are proud to work together as we face this challenge.

Stay well,
Chad

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