January 09, 2014 – Zymeworks Inc.
Vancouver, Canada – Zymeworks Inc. today announced that it has entered into a licensing and collaboration agreement with ImClone Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company, to develop an undisclosed number of novel bi-specific antibody oncology therapeutics using Zymeworks’ proprietary Azymetric™ platform. Bi-specific antibodies have the potential to provide improved outcomes for patients by simultaneously targeting two tumor-associated antigens to induce a synergistic therapeutic response.
“We are excited to enter into a strategic collaboration with ImClone and its world class biologics team,” said Ali Tehrani, Ph.D., President and CEO of Zymeworks. “This collaboration can help to advance and broaden the therapeutic utility of our novel bi-specific antibody platform and we are looking forward to working together to bring these groundbreaking therapies to the clinic and ultimately to patients with unmet medical needs.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Zymeworks has granted Lilly and its subsidiaries, a worldwide license to the Azymetric™ platform to develop and commercialize an undisclosed number of bi-specific therapeutic candidates toward Lilly’s therapeutic targets. This collaboration complements Lilly’s bi-specifics program aimed at speeding the delivery of novel medicines to cancer patients with unmet needs. Zymeworks will receive an upfront fee and research support and is eligible to receive research, development, and commercial milestone as well as tiered royalty payments on future product sales. Lilly will have exclusive worldwide commercialization rights to the antibodies derived from the collaboration.
About the Azymetric™ Platform
Bi-specific antibodies developed using the Azymetric™ platform resemble conventional mono-specific antibodies while incorporating two different Fab domains to bind to different antigens or drug targets. Azymetric™ antibodies spontaneously assemble into a single molecule comprising two unique heavy and light chain pairs. Similar to natural IgG antibodies, therapeutics based on the Azymetric™ platform retain long serum half-life and the ability to induce effector function and can be manufactured using well established and validated processes.
About Zymeworks Inc.
Zymeworks is a privately held biotherapeutics company that is developing best-in-class Azymetric™ bi-specific antibodies and antibody drug conjugates for the treatment of oncology, autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases. The company’s novel Azymetric™ and AlbuCORE™ platforms, and its proprietary ZymeCAD™ structure-guided protein engineering technology, enable the development of highly potent bi-specific antibodies and multivalent protein therapeutics targeted across a range of indications. Zymeworks is focused on accelerating its preclinical biotherapeutics pipeline through in-house research and development programs and strategic collaborations. More information on Zymeworks can be found at www.zymeworks.com.
David Poon, Ph.D.
Director, External R&D and Alliances