Last week, Ambrx announced a collaboration with Merck to develop and design drug conjugates based on the company’s technology in a deal worth $15 million up front and $288 million in milestone payments. This is the first partnership involving drugs of this class to focus on both oncology and non-oncology indications.
Drug conjugates are formed by joining a highly specific therapeutic, such as an antibody, with a drug. This class of therapeutics holds much promise due to their ability to deliver an active therapeutic to a specific cell while minimizing damage to healthy cells. Recently, Genentech’s drug conjugate, T-DM1, generated much attention at ASCO with the presentation of data demonstrating unprecedented improvements in metastatic breast cancer patients, delaying disease progression while also reducing side effects.
While drug conjugates are particularly promising for cancer indications, Ambrx’s site-specific technology enables this class of therapeutics to treat non-oncology indications as well, such as chronic and more common, non-life threatening diseases, including autoimmune, inflammatory, metabolic and cardiovascular disorders.
Russo Partners worked to secure coverage of the announcement in business-focused trade publications, including “The Pink Sheet” DAILY, BioWorld Today, Scrip, Xconomy; science-focused trade publications, including Chemical & Engineering News; as well as local publications, including the U-T San Diego and San Diego Daily Transcript.
Read more about the partnership in the articles below:
Chemical & Engineering News
U-T San Diego
Last week Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) and Life Technologies announced a partnership to commercialize a set of three novel products that are optimized to consistently develop and grow human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for both research and bioproduction purposes. This partnership combines CDI’s leadership in human iPS cell development and manufacturing as well as Life Technologies’ expertise in the commercialization of stem cell research tools
By creating a consistent, defined reagent system, these products overcome the limitations associated with commonly-used stem cell culture products, such as bovine serum albumin (BSA) and lipids, by reducing the variability in results inherent with other reagents. Generating consistent performance supports the advancement of translational stem cell research and drug discovery efforts. These products also further research efforts by enabling large-scale production of human iPS cells to be conducted.
Recent studies published in Nature Methods and PLoS One validated the effectiveness of CDI’s products, and presentations by customers of studies using the company’s human iPS cells at the Society of Toxicology (SOT) Annual Meeting demonstrated the superiority of CDI’s products compared to other cell models.
In addition, CDI was named last year’s overall Gold winner in The Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards based on the ability of its iPS cell manufacturing technology to facilitate understanding of human biology, improve the drug discovery process and develop cell-based therapies to treat human diseases.
Read more about The Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards in the following article:
The Wall Street Journal
Last week, Russo Partners attended the Jefferies 2012 Global Healthcare Conference in New York City. Over 2,000 institutional investors, private equity investors, venture capitalists and leading executives attended the conference, which featured presentations by public and private healthcare companies across the biopharmaceuticals, life sciences, healthcare services, healthcare IT and medical technology sectors.
A number of our clients participated in the conference, including Alder Biopharmaceuticals, a company utilizing its technologies to create antibody therapeutics with the ability to enter areas where cost has traditionally been prohibitive, Arena Pharmaceuticals, which is approaching its June 27th PDUFA date for its weight management drug candidate, lorcaserin, and Cellular Dynamics International, a company industrializing the production of human induced pluripotent stem cells, allowing the study of human biology, drug discovery and tissue engineering.
In addition, Endocyte, a company developing small molecule drug conjugates with companion diagnostics, Puma Biotechnology, which is advancing neratinib, a drug for HER2-positive locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer, and ZIOPHARM Oncology, a company focused on the development and commercialization of new cancer therapies, also presented at the conference.
Russo Partners supported client activities on-site, including coordinating and attending presentations as well as monitoring one-on-one meetings with key contacts in the investment community.
It’s getting to be that time of year again; the days are getting longer, the nights are getting warmer and summer is almost here. That must mean it’s time to prepare for…the 2012 BIO International Convention!
Held this year in Boston from June 18-21 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, BIO’s annual convention provides an important opportunity for executives, investors, scientists, policy leaders and the media to connect with one another and learn about the latest trends and challenges affecting the biotechnology industry.
Last week, Russo Partners kicked off our preparations for this year’s conference, which included reaching out to the media to determine their attendance and beginning to connect clients to relevant contacts.
Will you be attending the 2012 BIO International Convention? If so, feel free to contact us and we would enjoy catching up with you at the conference or working to connect you with companies of interest. We look forward to seeing you there!