An interview with Dr. Lawson Macartney, CEO of Ambrx Pharmaceuticals, on the co-development of an ADC therapeutic for HER2-Positive breast for cancer in China.
THE NEWS: This month’s Inside Perspective features Dr. Lawson Macartney, CEO of Ambrx Pharmaceuticals. Ambrx recently announced a deal in which it would co-development a therapeutic for HER2-positive breast cancer with China-based Zhejian Medicine Co. WuXi will handle preclinical, clinical trials and toxin manufacturing. ZMC will hold commercial rights to the compound in China, Ambrx holds rights in the rest of the world, collecting royalties on Chinese sales.
QUESTION: Ambrx has an industry-leading ADC technology platform and a number of notable partnerships with western pharmas like Merck and BMS. Why the expansion into China?
Macartney: Accessing the China market is becoming an increasingly important objective within Ambrx. Developing and manufacturing biologics within China to world class standards is a relatively new paradigm. We look forward to integrating these efforts into our global development strategy.
QUESTION:From a business perspective, this three-party deal is very creative and intriguing. Could you explain the strategy?
Macartney: This partnership is unique. It allows us to team up with China’s leading pharmaceutical and CRO companies to efficiently access the China market, an opportunity that we would otherwise miss if we were not to combine our respective efforts. This is an innovative deal structure that allows us to gain access to China while also reducing time and R&D costs.
QUESTION: What’s one thing you learned putting together this deal that could benefit other companies looking to develop drugs to sell in China?
Macartney: Build strong relationships with those that you do business with. This will better enable the collaborations to overcome obstacles and take advantage of opportunities.