Amgen chooses Generate in $1.9B biobucks deal to churn out up to 10 multispecific drugs

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Generate arose from Flagship Pioneering, the venture capital firm behind Moderna. (Amgen)

Amgen wants its future drugs to be multispecific, and so the biopharmaceutical company selected Generate Biomedicines for a $1.9 billion biobucks deal to initially create five programs across several diseases.

The pair announced the deal Thursday morning, which includes $50 million upfront for the initial five program, with an option to collaborate on five more. Amgen will pay up to $370 million in milestones and also royalties for each resulting program from the pact, with a total potential transaction value of $1.9 billion in biobucks for Generate. Specific indications or disease areas were not disclosed in the announcement. 

The generative biology biotech uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to discover new drugs. Amgen Executive VP of Research and Development David Reese, M.D., said that Generate’s integrated in silico design and wet lab capabilities combined with his company’s protein engineering can accelerate drug discovery efforts.

RELATED: Flagship-founded Generate snags $370M to generate medicines based on proteins, the 'building blocks of life'

Amgen has already dug into generative biology, which is using AI and machine learning to program novel protein therapeutics. The company invested in wet lab high throughput automation and dry lab computational biology, including a new Digital Biologics Discovery group.

The goal is to develop new drugs quickly, with predictable manufacturing and clinical behavior, according to Amgen.

Generate arose from Flagship Pioneering, the venture capital firm behind Moderna. CEO Mike Nally leads the AI specialist but also serves as a CEO-partner at Flagship. The biotech collected a massive $370 million series B in November 2021 to support clinical trials in 2023.