Johnson & Johnson completes $2B acquisition of Ambrx

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New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson on Thursday said it completed the acquisition of Ambrx Biopharma Inc. in an all-cash merger deal for a total equity value of approximately $2 billion, or $1.9 billion net of estimated cash acquired.

The transaction will be accounted for as a business combination.

“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 best-in-class PSMA-targeting ADC for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer,” Dr. Yusri Elsayed, global therapeutic area head, oncology, Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine, said. “This significant opportunity sets the stage for advancing next-generation ADCs with the aim of delivering differentiated solid tumor therapies that improve patients’ lives.”

The acquisition gives J&J a distinct opportunity to design, develop and commercialize targeted oncology therapeutics.

Ambrx Biopharma is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a proprietary synthetic biology technology platform to design and develop next-generation antibody drug conjugates or ADCs.

According to the firm, Ambrx’s proprietary ADC technology 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.

“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,” Biljana Naumovic, worldwide vice president, oncology, Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine, said. “ADCs are transforming the solid tumor treatment paradigm by leveraging antibody-antigen interactions to release cytotoxic payload directly to tumor cells. This acquisition underscores our ambition to deliver enhanced, precision biologics to transform the treatment of cancers, including prostate cancer.”