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March 7, 2019

BeiGene and Ambrx form R&D alliance for new biologics

China-based immuno-oncology drugs maker BeiGene and American biopharmaceutical firm Ambrx have formed an R&D partnership to develop next-generation biologic drugs.

China-based immuno-oncology drugs maker BeiGene and American biopharmaceutical firm Ambrx have formed a research and development (R&D) partnership to develop next-generation biologic drugs.

The worldwide alliance will develop and commercialise new biologic drugs by leveraging Ambrx’s drug discovery technology platforms and BeiGene’s expertise and resources.

The deal is part of BeiGene’s strategy to invest in early-stage research.

Ambrx has developed Expanded Genetic Code technology platforms to enable integration of non-natural amino acids into both E. Coli (ReCODE) and CHO cells (EuCODE) proteins.

This facilitates site-specific modification of proteins to generate new protein drugs.

BeiGene founder, CEO and chairman John Oyler said: “This collaboration with Ambrx is another example of our commitment to investing in innovative early-stage research – both via our internal resources and capabilities and via collaborations.”

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“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 make an upfront payment of $10m to Ambrx for supporting the preliminary discovery and research activities. This will be followed by an additional upfront payment of up to $19m if BeiGene initiates more programmes.

“Ambrx platform technology can be used to introduce non-natural amino acids selectively and specifically into a protein at any site to develop novel biologic compounds.”

Furthermore, Ambrx is eligible to receive potential development, regulatory and sales-based milestones payments of up to $446m for all programmes, as well as tiered royalties on future global sales.

Ambrx president and CEO Feng Tian said: “We look forward to working together with the BeiGene team to create innovative drugs utilising the Ambrx technology platforms.

“We plan to fully leverage the resources and expertise of BeiGene to work to advance novel biologics, which include targeted immuno-oncology drugs, to the global market.”

The deal gives BeiGene the rights to develop and commercialise any drug products, resulting from the alliance.

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