$200M investment to advance clinical programs for Ambrx

The San Diego-based biopharma firm has several oncology therapies in development and has partnered in the past with the likes of Astellas, BeiGene and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

A San Diego-based biopharma company has raised $200 million to advance work on its genetics-based therapies, which target cancer, cardiovascular disease and other conditions.

The investment represents the biggest yet for Ambrx Inc., which has several cancer therapies in its clinical pipeline.,

“The conclusion of this financing and the strong data emerging from our ongoing clinical programs, as well as our deep preclinical pipeline of proprietary drug candidates, positions the company for rapid growth,” said Dr. Fang Tien, the company’s CEO and chairman, in a statement.

Ambrx relies on proprietary technology using what it describes as an expanded genetic code to develop precision biologics, which can include antibody drug conjugates, bispecifics and targeted immuno-oncology therapies.

Investors in the $200 million round include Fidelity Management & Research Co., Cormorant Asset Management, HBM Healthcare Investments, Invus, Adage Capital Partners and Suvretta Capital Management, as well as funds and accounts managed by BlackRock.

Ambrx also has struck partnerships with larger drug companies.

In January, it said it was collaborating with Sino Biopharma to develop and commercialize two drug candidates for cancer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but it provided Ambrx with an upfront payment for its work to develop the two drugs. Sino Biopharma will handle the application process for the drugs as investigational therapies in the U.S. and China.

The Ambrx pipeline, meanwhile, includes therapies in various clinical stages developed in partnership with the likes of Bristol-Myers Squibb, BeiGene and Astellas.

Ambrx also has worked with Elanco to bring multiple animal health therapies to market.