VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Zymeworks Inc. (NYSE/TSX: ZYME), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics, provided key accomplishments from the past year and announced priorities for 2018.
“2017 was a great year for Zymeworks and we are poised to achieve a number of important corporate milestones in 2018,” said Ali Tehrani, Ph.D., President and CEO of Zymeworks. “We anticipate notable progress across our business, including additional clinical results for ZW25, the establishment of new partnerships and presenting preclinical data showcasing the breadth of our technology and emerging therapeutic pipeline. In addition, we expect to hear about the further advancement of our partners’ bispecific therapeutics built using our Azymetric platform.”
ZW25 – Accelerating Clinical Development
Zymeworks’ lead clinical candidate, ZW25, is a novel Azymetric™ bispecific antibody targeting two distinct domains of the HER2 receptor resulting in multiple differentiated mechanisms of action. In 2017, the company reported results from the dose escalation portion of its ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial, showing encouraging tolerability and anti-tumor activity in heavily pretreated patients with HER2-expressing cancers, including breast and gastric cancers.
“Over the last year we observed meaningful clinical responses in a number of late-stage breast and gastric cancer patients,” said Diana Hausman, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Zymeworks. “Based on this success, we are prioritizing strategies to accelerate development of ZW25 in 2018.”
Business Development – Progressing and Expanding Partnerships
In November 2017, Zymeworks provided a license to Janssen to develop multiple bispecific antibodies in a transaction worth up to US$1.45 billion including a US$50 million upfront payment as well as tiered royalties on product sales.
“Given Janssen’s biologics expertise and experience with other bispecific platforms, we believe this establishes Azymetric™ as an industry-leading solution for the development of bispecific antibody therapeutics,” said Dr. Tehrani of Zymeworks.