Chinese Consortium Acquires Ambrx For Undisclosed Sum

The acquisition of Ambrx adds bio-conjugation capabilities to the WuXi PharmaTech-led consortium.

AsianScientist (May 27, 2015) – A consortium consisting of entities affiliated with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group, HOPU Investments, China Everbright Limited’s healthcare fund and WuXi PharmaTech has signed a merger agreement pursuant to which the Consortium will acquire Ambrx Inc., a US biotechnology firm.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, subject to receipt of certain regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Ambrx is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing optimized protein therapeutics known as bio-conjugates. The company’s proprietary technology platforms enable attachment of pharmaceutically active molecules to specific sites within proteins more precisely than prior generations of bio-conjugates and with precision similar to that used to design small-molecule drugs.

Ambrx has developed a pipeline of novel product candidates that include antibody-drug conjugates, or ADCs, bi- and multi-specific drug conjugates and long-acting therapeutic proteins.

ADCs are expected to be one of the most important areas of monoclonal antibody development in the next decade, especially in targeted therapies for oncology, an area where Ambrx has a strong internal pipeline. The company’s most advanced internally developed product is ARX788, a site-specific ADC targeting Her2-positive breast cancer that Ambrx expects to begin clinical trials on in 2015.

“We are pleased to join the Consortium to acquire Ambrx, a top-tier innovative biologics company with a cutting-edge second-generation ADC technology platform,” said Dr. Ge Li, chairman and CEO of WuXi PharmaTech. “This transaction will allow WuXi to broadly access Ambrx’s best-in-class ADC platform and biologics development capabilities to better serve our global customers.”

In addition to its internal pipeline, Ambrx collaborates with leading pharmaceutical companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, Eli Lilly and Agensys. Ambrx’s most advanced collaboration product candidate in human health is ARX618, a long-acting fibroblast growth factor 21 for type 2 diabetes, for which collaboration partner Bristol-Myers Squibb is conducting Phase 2 clinical trials in the United States.

To date, collaborations have provided Ambrx with over US$200 million in funding and have the potential to provide milestone payments and royalties on the sale of collaboration products.


Source: WuXi AppTec.
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