A group of Chinese biotech heavyweights are banding together to buy Ambrx, R&D partner to the likes of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck, in hopes of making the company a go-to collaborator in their native country.
A heavyweight consortium of Chinese biomedical- and healthcare-focused funds said it would acquire San Diego-based biotech Ambrx, which abandoned an initial public offering last year, in a deal that opens a path to cutting-edge candidates in oncology therapies.
After earning more than $200 million in nondilutive funding for its work on armed antibodies, La Jolla, CA-based Ambrx thinks this is the right time to catch the biotech IPO wave as it looks to raise another $86 million from investors.
Thanks to some big-name deals over the past year, Ambrx could rake in nearly $1 billion in licensing for its antibody drug conjugates, but the company hasn't lost sight of its in-house development, now partnering with WuXi PharmaTech and a Chinese drugmaker to advance a breast cancer treatment.
Just a month after landing a $15 million payday for a deal with Astellas to collaborate on new antibody drug conjugates for cancer, the San Diego-based biotech Ambrx has scored another research pact--reaping another $15 million upfront from Bristol-Myers in exchange for a new oncology partnership.
San Diego-based Ambrx welcomed an influx of cash for the further development of its drug-delivery technology: antibody drug conjugates, or ADCs.
Astellas Pharma has wagered on antibody drug conjugate tech from the San Diego biotech startup Ambrx, paying $15 million upfront and committing up to $285 million more in their collaboration focused in oncology. And it's more proof that major pharma outfits are keen on the advantages of pairing targeted antibodies with potent drug payloads to treat cancer.
As antibody drug conjugates become more and more popular in the world of cancer drug development, Merck has inked a deal worth up to $303 million with San Diego's Ambrx to use the company's delivery tech.
The biotech, a Fierce 15 company way back in 2005, grabbed $15 million upfront and the promise of up to $288 million more from Merck as it puts its protein expertise to work in creating new "smart bomb" therapeutic programs for the pharma giant.
Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) is handing Ambrx an upfront payment of $24 million to buy itself a ticket to ride on the La Jolla, CA-based biotech's discovery platform. Adding to a string of