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.
Antibody technology holds promise for treating a wide array of diseases, and designing new antibodies is a hot area in biotech research right now. One company is developing a new class of antibodies to combat cancer.
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.
Antibody-drug conjugates are hot. Next-gen ADCs are even hotter. So Celgene has turned to the upstart ADC developers at Sutro Biopharma, promising a package of more than $500 million in upfront fees, an equity stake, R&D support and milestones in exchange for some fine-tuned products. And the biotech says that it is hot on the trail of more deals.
Roche has gained the inside track in the final lap of a long and expensive race to win an FDA approval for the armed antibody T-DM1, a new approach to treating HER2-positive breast cancer that marks a significant advance for patients.
The pharma company is joining forces with Oxford BioTherapeutics on five new programs using the biotech's antibody drug conjugate technology, all the rage now as Roche's T-DM1 nears a likely approval.
With the armed antibody T-DM1 up for a groundbreaking approval soon, antibody-drug conjugates are hot. And Seattle Genetics, one of the leaders in the field, is riding the crest of that biotech wave with an expanded collaboration deal with Abbott Laboratories worth $25 million upfront and up to $220 million in milestones for each new cancer ADC they work on.
What does $9 billion a year buy? In Roche's case, it's enough R&D money to back 72 development programs, including 19 late-stage studies and a dozen new drugs that represent the pharma giant's best hope for taking generic competition in stride. And today Roche showcased its top therapeutic prospects as it made its case to investors that the money is being invested wisely.
Johnson & Johnson isn't known for doing a lot of deals. But when the deal team moves, they do it decisively. That was the case today as J&J finalized a pact to in-license a promising antibody from Genmab, taking an $80 million equity stake along with a $55 million upfront. The total deal, including potential milestones, hits $1.1 billion.
A Cowen & Company analyst argued Wednesday that investors haven't given much credit to ImmunoGen's other drug candidates, and his assessment preceded a bump in the company's stock price.