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Zymeworks Enters its First ZymeLink™ Antibody-Drug Conjugate Platform Licensing Agreement with Iconic Therapeutics

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Zymeworks Inc., 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.