Following key late-stage advances, BeiGene puts down $10M to get some discovery projects rolling at Ambrx

Searching for a bigger spot for itself in the global market weeks after becoming the first Chinese biotech to nab an FDA ?breakthrough? designation, BeiGene has enlisted the protein engineers at Ambrx to add some discovery projects to its cancer pipeline.

The partners are painting the deal in broad strokes, but they are clear about the $10 million San Diego-based Ambrx is getting to kickstart the collaboration. Its ability to insert tRNA/tRNA synthetase pairs into cell lines, the company says, means it can empower therapeutic proteins by placing non-natural amino acids at precise positions. That lends itself to applications in both first-in-class conjugates and optimized peptides, monoclonal antibodies and bi- or multi-specific meds.