Amgen researchers are using antibodies to develop COVID-19 treatment

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Amgen headquarters is based in Thousand Oaks, CA. To find a COVID-19 treatment, staff there are working with antibody-producing B cells from people who’ve recovered from the virus, says Dr. David Reese. Photo credit: Amgen.

Biotech companies worldwide are scrambling to develop possible treatments for COVID-19. Amgen, a Thousand Oaks-based biopharmaceutical company, is using coronavirus antibodies to create treatments for the virus. 

Dr. David Reese, executive vice president of research and development at Amgen, says his company is working with B cells from people who’ve recovered from COVID-19. 

“Out of the millions and millions of antibody-producing B cells that are in an individual, [we are] trying to isolate those that are going to produce effective or neutralizing antibodies against the virus. We can then manufacture those antibodies at scale as a treatment,” he says. 

Amgen is also experimenting with Otezla as a possible COVID-19 therapy. It’s a medication traditionally used to treat psoriasis. 

Dr. David Reese, Amgen’s head of research and development, says each day, his staff are learning more about the virus and making progress. “There will be a natural end. … There’s light at the end of the tunnel,” he says. Photo credit: Amgen. 
Credits

Guest:
David Reese - Executive vice president of research and development at Amgen

Host:
Steve Chiotakis

Producers:
Christian Bordal, Jenna Kagel, Rebecca Mooney