VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Zymeworks Inc. (NYSE/TSX: ZYME), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing multifunctional biotherapeutics, today announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement that grants Iconic Therapeutics, Inc. (Iconic) non-exclusive rights to Zymeworks’ proprietary ZymeLink™ antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform for the development of its ICON-2 Tissue Factor ADC for cancer. This is the first collaboration leveraging the ZymeLink platform and represents Zymeworks’ third technology platform licensed to a collaborator.
“We believe this first ZymeLink licensing deal provides further validation of our novel ADC technology, which is already being used in Zymeworks’ own clinical candidate, ZW49,” said Ali Tehrani, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Zymeworks. “Historically, traditional ADC development has been plagued by a number of challenges related to toxicity and efficacy. Our research has shown that ZymeLink has the capacity to significantly enhance exposure and tolerability, broadening the therapeutic window and leading to potentially safer and more efficacious therapeutic candidates.”
“Zymeworks’ technology provides properties and capabilities we believe will enhance and leverage Iconic’s Tissue Factor platform,” commented William Greene, M.D., Iconic’s Chief Executive Officer. “Having evaluated several alternatives, we are confident that we can develop a truly differentiated ADC with ZymeLink. Tissue Factor is an important target in solid tumors, and we believe the combination of our best-in-class antibodies with Zymeworks’ next generation payload technology will deliver an ADC with enhanced safety and efficacy with the potential to be an important addition to the cancer armamentarium. We look forward to progressing ICON-2 to the clinic in 2020 and more broadly, to further developing our pipeline of therapeutic approaches to targeting Tissue Factor mediated diseases.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Zymeworks will be eligible to receive development and commercial milestone payments and tiered royalties on worldwide net sales. The agreement also provides Zymeworks co-promotion rights with increased royalties for products developed using the Iconic ADC program. If Iconic outlicenses the program, in lieu of co-promotion rights, Zymeworks will receive a share of the revenue Iconic receives from any partners as well as tiered royalties on worldwide net sales.
About the ZymeLink™ Platform
The ZymeLink platform is a set of proprietary cytotoxic drugs and linkers designed to create stable, polar ADCs for the targeted delivery of therapeutics with significantly enhanced exposure and tolerability leading to increased efficacy against targets that traditionally have been challenging for ADCs. The ZymeLink platform is compatible with monoclonal and bispecific antibodies and is intended to facilitate the development of next-generation antibody-drug conjugates with broad therapeutic windows.
About Iconic Therapeutics
Iconic Therapeutics is a venture-backed biopharmaceutical company dedicated to translating an understanding of the role of Tissue Factor biology to new therapeutics for diseases such as macular degeneration and cancer. The company has developed a portfolio of proprietary molecules, which bind to and antagonize Tissue Factor expressed in disease, both in retina and in solid tumors. Please visit www.iconictherapeutics.com for additional information.
About Zymeworks Inc.
Zymeworks is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics. The Company’s suite of therapeutic platforms and its fully integrated drug development engine enable precise engineering of highly differentiated product candidates. Zymeworks’ lead clinical candidate, ZW25, is a novel Azymetric™ bispecific antibody currently in Phase 2 clinical development. The Company’s second clinical candidate, ZW49, is a bispecific antibody-drug conjugate currently in Phase 1 clinical development and combines the unique design and antibody framework of ZW25 with Zymeworks’ proprietary ZymeLink™ cytotoxic payload. Zymeworks is also advancing a deep preclinical pipeline in immuno-oncology and other therapeutic areas. In addition, its therapeutic platforms are being leveraged through multiple strategic partnerships with nine biopharmaceutical companies. For more information, visit www.zymeworks.com.