Astellas Pharma, Inc.
) recently announced a deal with Ambrx Inc. for the discovery and
development of novel antibody drug conjugates (ADC).
Terms of the Deal
As per the agreement, Ambrx is entitled to an upfront payment
of $15 million. Moreover, Ambrx could earn up to an additional
$285 million on the achievement of research, development,
regulatory and sales-based milestones for a number of targets for
ADCs in oncology.
In return, Astellas will have global rights for the
development and commercialization of ADCs for oncology. A part of
the milestones plus royalties on any net sales will depend on the
eventual success of products developed under this
We are positive on this collaboration which should help expand
Astellas' capability in the development of ADCs for oncology.
Astellas currently has AGS-16M8F/AGS-16C3F for renal cancer,
ASG-5ME for prostate cancer as well as pancreatic cancer and
ASG-22ME for solid tumors in its pipeline. All three are in phase
I. In Jan 2013, data was announced from a phase I clinical study
evaluating ASG-5ME for the treatment of metastatic pancreatic
ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA).
ADCs have been attracting a lot of interest in the recent past
with major companies entering into collaborations.
) is a key player in this field and has collaborations with many
Roche Holding AG
) Genentech and Astellas for the development of ADCs.
Astellas carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Currently
WuXi Pharma Tech (Cayman) Inc.
) looks more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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