Amgen (AMGN.Q) signed a lease with BioMed Realty for a new 240,000 square foot Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) candidate facility in the Gateway of Pacific campus development in south San Francisco earlier this week.

The new location, which is presently being constructed at Oyster Point, will house Amgen’s Bay Area employees while they work on cardiometabolic, inflammation and oncology research.

“At Amgen South San Francisco, we are home to top scientific talent, integrating human genetics with core biology and molecular engineering to discover and develop first-in-class therapies. The new location will foster even greater collaboration across our strong scientific team, accelerate the R&D process, and provide a venue for increased engagement with the Bay Area’s abundant scientific and educational communities,” said Flavius Martin, vice president of research, oncology and inflammation for the company.

Amgen wants to help their patients by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. They’re doing this means using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the factors and fundamental of human biology. The company focuses on areas where medical need is greatest, and uses its expertise to look for solutions to overcome health issues.

The company’s new home at The Gateway of Pacific campus will be a facility that boosts collaboration via modern work and laboratory spaces. The new site will include modular green wet labs and green molecular lab design. It will provide a flexible and a customizable state-of-the-art scientific research and development facility to support scientific research.

The new campus will have meeting spaces, an amenity center and include places for scientists and students to eat, relax and get exercise when they’re not trying to cure cancer.

Let’s have an example

Earlier this week, Amgen revealed results of their ongoing study for their drug Kyprolis in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer, characterized by a recurring pattern of remission and relapse. It is a rare and life-threatening disease that accounts for approximately one percent of all cancers. Worldwide, approximately 160,000 people are diagnosed with multiple myeloma each year, and 106,000 patient deaths are reported on an annual basis.

It involves a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell, which normally helps you fight infections by making antibodies that engage in seek and destroy missions on germs. Multiple myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in bone marrow, where they push out healthy blood cells. But instead of producing antibodies, the cancer cells go rogue and produce abnormal proteins that can cause nasty complications. Your kidneys go, you get blood disorders, maybe your bone marrow takes a vacation. Bad news.

This is one of those complicated forms of cancer that would regularly show up on the diagnostic chart on House MD, especially because it can cause seemingly disconnected symptoms to arrive. Treatment isn’t always necessary for people who aren’t suffering from any signs or symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic, but there are a number of different available treatments to help control the disease.

Kyprolis could be one of these when it’s released to the market.

First, you probably don’t know a proteasome from Google Chrome, so we’d best explain what they are. (Don’t feel bad I didn’t either)

Proteasomes are protein complexes which degrade unneeded or damaged proteins by proteolysis, a chemical reaction that breaks peptide bonds. Enzymes that help such reactions are called proteases. Proteasomes play an important role in cell function and growth by breaking down proteins that are damaged or no longer needed. Kyprolis blocks proteasomes, letting proteins accrue within cells. In some cells, the drug causes cell death, with myeloma cells being the probable target due to their higher amount of abnormal proteins.

“Kyprolis has demonstrated deep and sustained responses in treating patients with multiple myeloma that have relapsed. The CANDOR study now offers additional insight into the effectiveness of this combination as a potential new treatment option for relapsed myeloma patients,” said David M. Reese, M.D., executive vice president of research and development at Amgen.

Sounds like a company doing God’s work.

—Joseph Morton

Written By:

Joseph Morton

Joseph is a Vancouver-based author and journalist with both a communications degree and journalism diploma (and a few novels) under his belt. His joie de vivre is to spin difficult technical topics into more human-centric narratives. Buy him a coffee and he'll talk your ear off for hours about privacy issues, blockchain, cryptocurrency and martial arts. Don't talk to him if you're either a tomato, a bully, or if you're not a fan of either 1984 or Tender is the Night. No. You can still talk to him. Just be prepared to be told why you're wrong.

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Health Science
cancer drugs
Cancer research
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
The Gateway of Pacific
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