The collaboration will use Ambrx’s clinically validated drug discovery technology with BeiGene’s resources to help develop and commercialize next-generation biologics.
As part of the deal, Chinese firm BeiGene has paid $10 million (€9 million) upfront to access Ambrx’ Expanded Genetic Code platforms to discover novel biologic drug candidates. However, Ambrx could a further $446 million on potential development, regulatory, and sales-based milestone payments.
The technology is designed to allow the incorporation of non-natural amino acids into proteins in both E. Coli and mammalian Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells.
“Ambrx platform technology is compatible with standard manufacture process and facility,” Ambrx spokesperson Taylor Cohen said. “Any qualified CMO [contract manufacturing organization] can be employed to manufacture it.”
John Oyler, CEO of BeiGene, said: “We are excited to have access to the Ambrx platform technology, which can be used to introduce non-natural amino acids selectively and specifically into a protein at any site, to develop novel biologic compounds. We believe that by incorporating this site-specific conjugation technology, we can further broaden BeiGene’s portfolio of next-generation biologics.”
BeiGene will have the worldwide rights to any drug products that arise from the collaboration.