Johnson & Johnson to acquire Ambrx Biopharma for $2B

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New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson on Monday said it will acquire cancer-treatment developer Ambrx Biopharma in a $2 billion cash deal.

J&J plans to purchase all the outstanding shares of Ambrx for $28 per share in cash, representing an approximately 105% premium to Ambrx’s closing stock price Friday.

Ambryx is currently developing candidates for treatments for multiple types of cancer, including for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, metastatic breast cancer and renal cell carcinoma.

“Ambrx’s (antibody drug conjugate) technology offers unique advantages in the conjugation of stable antibodies and cytotoxic linker payloads, which results in engineered ADCs that effectively kill cancer cells and limit toxicities,” Dr. Yusri Elsayed, global therapeutic area head, oncology, Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine, said. “The results seen to date with ARX517 in mCRPC are promising and represent a potential first- and best-in-class targeted therapy for the treatment of this aggressive disease. In addition, Ambrx’s pipeline and ADC platform present exciting future opportunities to deliver enhanced, precision biologics as we look to transform the treatment of cancer and improve patients’ lives.”

The planned acquisition presents a distinct opportunity for Johnson & Johnson to design, develop and commercialize targeted oncology therapeutics. Building on a legacy of innovation in oncology and in prostate cancer, J&J scientists intend to work with Ambrx researchers, accelerating the Phase 1/2 APEX-01 study (NCT04662580) of ARX517 in advanced prostate cancer, while progressing a pipeline of novel ADC product candidates.

The closing of the transaction is expected to occur in the first half of 2024, subject to receipt of Ambrx shareholder approval.