AstraZeneca announced that its US biologics division Medimmune has entered into agreement to buy Amplimmune earlier this week.
The deal will see MedImmune pay $225m (EUR168m) upfront for Gaithersburg, Maryland, US-headquartered Amplimmune and up to a further $275m in milestone payments based on certain development milestones.
Most reports have focused on Amplimmune’s candidates like AMP-514, an anti-apoptosis monoclonal antibody (mAb) in late-stage pre-clinical studies, which is seen as a useful addition to development pipelines of both Medimmune and Astra Zeneca.
AstraZeneca spokeswoman Ayesha Bharmal confirmed that this was the main motivation, telling BioPharma-Reporter.com: “The focus of the acquisition is on the scientific expertise and the pre-clinical assets Amplimmune offers.”
Amlimmune’s other candidates include AMP-223 – a monoclonal antibody (MAb) that blocks proteins that allows cancers and infections to evade the immune system – and the autoimmune disease treatment, AMP-110.
Quite where either candidate will sit in Medimmune and AstraZeneca’s pipelines is unclear as Amplimmune is developing them in partnership with GSK and Daiichi Sankyo, respectively.
In addition to expanding their respective pipelines, the acquisition will also bolster Medimmune and AstraZeneca’s biomanufacturing capabilities according to Amplimmune COO Gary Fanger.
Fanger told us that Amplimmune has operated a good manufacturing practices (GMP) manufacturing facility since 2011 adding that, while he could not go into specifics, the site employs “single use, disposable bioreactor systems.”
The manufacturing capacity will also be of AstraZeneca’s plans going forward according to Bharmal.
She said that: “In the near term, we plan to continue to operate the manufacturing facility in order to advance the Amplimmune pipeline and meet any contractual commitments under Amplimmune’s existing partnerships.”