Ambrx Biopharma acquired by J&J for approximately $2bn

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has announced that it has successfully completed its acquisition of Ambrx Biopharma in an all-cash merger transaction with a total equity value of approximately $2bn. 
The acquisition is intended to help J&J design, develop and commercialise targeted oncology therapeutics, utilising Ambrx’s proprietary antibody drug conjugate (ADC) technology, which ‘incorporates the advantages of highly specific targeting monoclonal antibodies securely linked to a potent chemotherapeutic payload to achieve targeted and efficient elimination of cancer cells without the prevalent side effects typically associated with chemotherapy’, according to the company’s press release. 
Biljana Naumovic, worldwide vice president, oncology at J&J Innovative Medicine, stated: “The Ambrx team has developed a promising pipeline and ADC platform that will be a strong complement and strategic fit to our oncology innovation strategy. ADCs are transforming the solid tumour treatment paradigm by leveraging antibody-antigen interactions to release cytotoxic payload directly to tumour cells. This acquisition underscores our ambition to deliver enhanced, precision biologics to transform the treatment of cancers, including prostate cancer.” Yusri Elsayed MD MHSc PhD, global therapeutic area head, oncology, at J&J, added: “We’re pleased to welcome Ambrx’s talented scientific team and proprietary ADC platform to Johnson & Johnson. We look forward to continuing the development of ARX517, which represents a potential first- and bestin-class PSMA-targeting ADC for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. This significant opportunity sets the stage for advancing next generation ADCs with the aim of delivering differentiated solid tumour therapies that improve patients’ lives.”