VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada – Zymeworks Inc. today announced the successful achievement of a research milestone in its collaboration with Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, related to Zymeworks’ proprietary Azymetric™ platform for the development of novel bi-specific antibody therapeutic candidates. In conjunction with the terms of the collaboration agreement, Zymeworks is to receive an undisclosed milestone payment from Merck.
“We are extremely pleased with the collaboration’s progress, which was made possible by both teams’ dedication and hard work,” said Dr. Ali Tehrani, President & CEO of Zymeworks. “Commercial research collaborations with world class companies like Merck, combined with internal breakthroughs and achievements, will continue to position the Azymetric™ platform as one of the leading bi-specific formats available today. We look forward to advancing the collaboration with Merck as we continue to focus on translating world-class protein engineering into therapeutics for patients with unmet medical needs.”
Under the terms of the agreement Zymeworks granted Merck, through a subsidiary, a worldwide license to develop and commercialize bi-specific antibodies generated through use of the Azymetric™ platform toward certain exclusive therapeutic targets. Both companies will collaborate to advance the technology platform, with Merck working to progress the bi-specific therapeutic antibody candidates through clinical development. Zymeworks received an upfront fee and is eligible to receive research, development and regulatory milestones with a potential value of up to US $187 million, as well as tiered royalty payments on sales of products. Merck will have exclusive worldwide commercialization rights to products derived from the collaboration.
Zymeworks is a privately held biotechnology company that is developing best-in-class antibody therapeutics for the treatment of oncology, autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases. The company’s proprietary ZymeCAD™ structure-guided protein engineering technology and its novel Azymetric™ and AlbuCORE™ platforms enable the development of highly potent bi-specific antibodies and multivalent protein therapeutics targeted across a range of indications. Zymeworks is focused on growing its preclinical biotherapeutics pipeline through in-house research and development programs and strategic collaborations. More information on Zymeworks can be found at http://www.zymeworks.com.
David Poon, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Business Development