Ambrx, Saying Thanks to its Rivals, Rides Wave of Interest in “Empowered” Antibodies

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partnership with Pfizer, struck in September, involves developing antibodies and antibody drug conjugates against three undisclosed targets on cells. Ambrx didn’t disclose financial terms of the alliance. It lists 12 drug candidates at various stages of development on its website, but doesn’t say much about each one.

Towards the end of the chat, I asked Kaldor for his thoughts on the big trends he sees in biotech in the coming decade. Here are some highlights:

On biotech drug prices: “Pricing pressure will force people to look for faster approaches. Biologics are expensive, and price pressures on them mean there will be a lot of interest in decreasing the cost of goods, and manufacturing costs. People who crack that area will profit mightily.”

On venture investing trends: “A subset of them will return to platforms. True innovation is the only thing that will be rewarded. I’m heartened by it, because I love platforms. These will be real, not virtual, companies.”

On which drugs will win in the marketplace: “There will be an increasing emphasis on first-in-class products. Now that Genentech (Roche) is trying to follow Herceptin with an antibody drug conjugate, could that be life-cycle management or is it a biosuperior? Is it an incremental advance? I think it will be seen as truly innovative and different, and can stand alone, but people are looking at it.”

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