Pharma Focus Asia

Zymeworks and Daiichi Sankyo Expand Immuno-Oncology Collaboration Focused on Bispecific Antibodies

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Zymeworks Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing multifunctional therapeutics, and Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited (Daiichi Sankyo) announced today that they entered into a new license agreement, building upon their 2016 cross-licensing and collaboration agreement.

“With a successful track record and our first bispecific antibody incorporating the Azymetric and EFECT technology having achieved a key research milestone in 2017, we look forward to adding two more bispecific compounds to our pipeline,” said Antoine Yver, MD, MSc, Executive Vice President and Global Head, Oncology Research and Development, Daiichi Sankyo. “We are exceptionally impressed with the robust impact that Zymeworks’ technology brings to antibody development.”

Under the terms of the second agreement, Daiichi Sankyo will acquire licenses to Zymeworks’ Azymetric™ and EFECT™ technology platforms to develop two additional bispecific antibody therapeutics. In exchange, Zymeworks will receive an upfront technology access fee of US$18 million and may receive up to US$466.7 million in potential clinical, regulatory and commercial milestone payments. In addition, Zymeworks will receive up to double-digit tiered royalties on global product sales.

“Expanding our relationship with a leading global pharmaceutical partner like Daiichi Sankyo is extremely satisfying as it underscores the power, versatility, and attractiveness of our technology platforms,” said Ali Tehrani, Ph.D., President and CEO of Zymeworks. “Having already used our platforms to discover one bispecific antibody, Daiichi Sankyo now has increased access to our technology to create additional therapeutic candidates. We are pleased to be working with a healthcare pioneer with a proven track record of over 100 years of innovation leading to major breakthroughs in patient care.”

Zymeworks and Daiichi Sankyo began working together in September 2016 through an agreement to develop one bispecific antibody therapeutic for which Zymeworks is eligible to receive preclinical, clinical, and commercial milestones payments, as well as up to double-digit tiered royalties on global product sales. Additionally, Zymeworks obtained a license to certain immuno-oncology antibodies from Daiichi Sankyo, with the right to research, develop, and commercialize multiple bispecific products globally in exchange for royalties on global product sales.

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