Roche And Ambrx, Inc. Enter Into Broad Technology Collaboration

BASEL, Switzerland and SAN DIEGO, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Roche and Ambrx Inc. today announced a collaboration in which Ambrx will use its proprietary technology to develop next generation proteins and peptides. These new compounds could offer efficacy or safety advantages over currently marketed products. Roche and Ambrx will initially use the technology platform to generate novel pegylated interferon alpha molecules.

"Roche is pleased to enter into this new partnership with Ambrx," said Peter Hug, Roche's Global Head of Pharma Partnering. "If proven successful, Ambrx's technology could potentially be beneficial to multiple projects in our biologics pipeline."

"This partnership with Roche further validates Ambrx's ability to deliver protein drug candidates with enhanced efficacy, safety and ease of use," said Martin A. Mattingly, Pharm.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Ambrx. "Our strategy is to partner with leaders in their respective fields. Roche has an excellent track record of success in the development and commercialization of novel interferon therapies."

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will fund research and development of the products, and will retain exclusive worldwide commercialization rights. Ambrx will receive license fees, research funding and development milestone payments plus royalties on product sales. In addition, the Roche Venture Fund will make an equity investment in Ambrx.

About Ambrx

Ambrx is a biopharmaceutical company committed to transforming the science and performance of protein-based medicines. Building on a fundamental advance in protein biosynthesis, Ambrx can genetically engineer proteins with novel amino acid building blocks beyond the common 20. This approach represents a new paradigm in protein engineering and permits the pharmaceutical optimization of proteins in a manner analogous to that used for decades to improve the properties of traditional small molecule-based drugs and peptides. The company's most advanced product candidate, a human growth hormone with superior performance, is currently in GMP manufacturing with an IND filing anticipated in 2006. In addition, Ambrx is optimizing several other protein therapeutics representing large markets and significant unmet medical need.

About Roche as a Partner

Roche is a valued partner to more than 50 companies worldwide. Over the past two years, Roche has led the pharmaceutical industry in the number of clinical compound deals signed. Thus far in 2005, Roche has entered into nine partnerships to jointly develop products for optimal patient benefit and value. Partnerships continue to strengthen Roche's positions in oncology, virology, transplantation, and primary care. Roche's partnering culture encourages innovation through a unique pairing of collaboration and autonomy.

About the Roche Venture Fund

The Roche Venture Fund advises Roche on investments in early stage biotech and diagnostics companies to support innovative technologies and medicines. Based in Basel, Switzerland, the Roche Venture Fund manages a portfolio of over 25 companies in 10 countries.

About Roche -- More Than a Century in the U.S. and the World

Founded in 1896 and headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's leading innovation-driven healthcare groups. Its core businesses are pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is one of the world's leaders in diagnostics, the leading supplier of pharmaceuticals for cancer, as well as a leader in virology and transplantation. As a supplier of products and services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, the Group contributes on many fronts to improve people's health and quality of life. Roche employs roughly 65,000 people in 150 countries, including approximately 15,000 in the United States.

Roche's U.S. operations celebrate their American Centennial in 2005. In another milestone this year, Roche was named in January to Fortune magazine's list of Best Companies to Work For in America. One of an increasingly rare breed of major healthcare companies that still bear their original name, Roche today has more than a dozen U.S. sites located in California, Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey and South Carolina, as well as in Puerto Rico. Roche has alliances and research and development agreements with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai. Roche's Pharmaceuticals Division offers a portfolio of leading medicines in therapeutic areas including cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, transplantation, dermatology and influenza. Roche's Diagnostics Division supplies a wide array of innovative testing products and services to researchers, physicians, patients, hospitals and laboratories worldwide. For further information, please visit our worldwide and U.S. websites (Global: www.roche.com and U.S.: www.roche.us).

Source: Ambrx Inc.; Roche

Back to news