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J&J to purchase Ambrx Biopharma for $2 billion in all-cash deal

Johnson & Johnson will buy Ambrx Biopharma, Inc., a company developing targeted chemotherapy treatments, for $2 billion in cash.

HQ Team

January 8, 2023: Johnson & Johnson will buy Ambrx Biopharma, Inc., a company developing targeted chemotherapy treatments, for $2 billion in cash.

Ambrx designs and makes antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) to target cancer cells without damaging healthy human tissues. The company was spun out of The Scripps Research Institute in 2003.

The California, US-based company is focused on clinical and preclinical programs to treat prostate cancer, breast cancer and renal cell carcinoma.

J&J will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Ambrx’s common stock for $28.00 per share in cash through a merger of Ambrx with a subsidiary of the company. It represents about 105% premium to Ambrx’s closing stock price on January 5, 2024.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2024. The approximately $1.9 billion estimated net value of the transaction is based on Ambrx’s estimated fully diluted shares outstanding, less estimated net cash at the time of recent closing.

‘Limit toxicities’

“Ambrx’s ADC 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,” said Yusri Elsayed, MD, MHSc, PhD, Global Therapeutic Area Head, Oncology, Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine. 

The results from the experimental drug for prostate cancer in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) “are promising and represent a potential first- and best-in-class targeted therapy for the treatment of this aggressive disease.”

Ambrx’s ADC technology targets monoclonal antibodies linked to a potent chemotherapeutic payload to achieve targeted and efficient elimination of cancer cells without the prevalent side effects associated with chemotherapy.

“With a median overall survival of less than two years and novel hormonal therapies moving earlier in the disease, significant unmet need remains in the treatment of mCRPC,” said Margaret Yu, MD, Prostate Cancer Disease Area Leader, Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine.

There were an estimated 18.1 million cancer cases around the world in 2020. Of these, 9.3 million cases were in men and 8.8 million in women.

Breast and lung cancer accounted for 24.7% of the total global cases followed by colorectal and prostate.


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