In brief: Ambrx and BeiGene ink $450m biologics development deal

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.

Image: iStock/Kritchanut

“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.

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