VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Zymeworks Inc. (NYSE/TSX: ZYME), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing multifunctional therapeutics, today announced that Celgene Corporation has exercised its right to expand its collaboration agreement for the research, development, and commercialization of bispecific antibody therapeutics using Zymeworks’ Azymetric™ platform.
“The team at Celgene has made excellent progress developing bispecific and multifunctional therapeutic candidates built on our industry-leading Azymetric platform and we are delighted to expand and continue our relationship with them,” said Ali Tehrani, Ph.D., Zymeworks’ President & CEO. “We are proud of the fact that all six of our pharma partnerships involving the Azymetric platform remain active and are advancing innovative therapeutics towards clinical trials.”
Under the terms of the original collaboration agreement signed in 2014 which enabled Celgene to research and develop multiple bispecific antibodies based on the Azymetric platform, Celgene has now exercised its right to increase the number of potential products it can develop and commercialize from eight to ten, and extended the research program term by two years. Zymeworks will receive an expansion fee and is now eligible to receive up to US$164 million in development and commercial milestones for each of up to 10 products plus royalties on worldwide sales. In total, Zymeworks is now eligible to receive up to US$1.64 billion in future payments for the entire collaboration.
About the Azymetric™ Platform
The Azymetric platform enables the transformation of monospecific antibodies into bispecific antibodies, giving the antibodies the ability to simultaneously bind two different targets. Azymetric bispecific technology enables the development of multifunctional biotherapeutics that can block multiple signaling pathways, recruit immune cells to tumors, enhance receptor clustering degradation, and increase tumor-specific targeting. These features are intended to enhance efficacy while reducing toxicities and the potential for drug-resistance. Azymetric bispecifics have been engineered to retain the desirable drug-like qualities of naturally occurring antibodies, including low immunogenicity, long half-life and high stability. In addition, they are compatible with standard manufacturing processes with high yields and purity, potentially significantly reducing drug development costs and timelines.
About Zymeworks Inc.
Zymeworks is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics. Zymeworks’ suite of complementary therapeutic platforms and its fully integrated drug development engine provide the flexibility and compatibility to precisely engineer and develop highly differentiated product candidates. Zymeworks’ lead product candidate, ZW25, is a novel bispecific antibody currently being evaluated in an adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial. Zymeworks is also advancing a deep pipeline of preclinical product candidates and discovery-stage programs in immuno-oncology and other therapeutic areas. In addition to Zymeworks’ wholly owned pipeline, its therapeutic platforms have been further leveraged through multiple strategic partnerships with global biopharmaceutical companies.