Zymeworks and LEO Pharma Enter into Bispecific Antibody Licensing and Research Collaboration

  • The companies will collaborate on the discovery of novel monospecific antibodies to develop bispecific therapeutics targeting cytokine-receptor pathways with applications in dermatology, inflammation, and autoimmunity by leveraging Zymeworks’ Azymetric™ and EFECT™ therapeutic platforms
  • LEO Pharma will retain the rights to develop two bispecifics for dermatology applications; Zymeworks will retain the rights to develop antibodies from the research collaboration in all other therapeutic areas
  • Zymeworks is eligible to receive up to US$236 million in upfront and milestone payments for the first therapeutic candidate, and up to US$244 million for the second, plus research funding payments and potential royalties on product sales

VANCOUVER, Canada & BALLERUP, Denmark I October 23, 2018 I Zymeworks Inc. (NYSE/TSX: ZYME), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing multifunctional therapeutics, and LEO Pharma A/S, a global leader in medical dermatology, have entered into a licensing and research collaboration to discover and develop bispecific antibodies targeting cytokine-receptor pathways using Zymeworks’ antibody discovery capabilities and its proprietary Azymetric™ and EFECT™ platforms. LEO Pharma will have exclusive rights to further develop and commercialize two bispecific candidates in dermatology indications, while Zymeworks retains rights to develop antibodies in all other therapeutic areas.

“This marks our first joint antibody discovery and development collaboration, and we are excited to be working alongside LEO Pharma, a global leader in treatments for skin conditions,” said Ali Tehrani, Ph.D., President and CEO of Zymeworks. “Targets that are compelling in dermatology are also attractive in other therapeutic areas where dysregulation of cytokine pathways contributes to disease, such as autoimmune disorders and inflammatory diseases. We are pleased to be combining our expertise with LEO Pharma’s to explore a new class of targets and expand our pipeline of novel medicines to include protein therapeutics for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.”

“Innovation and partnerships are core to our approach in developing new medicines, and we believe bispecific antibodies offer a powerful new way of helping the body block defective cellular signaling,” said Thorsten Thormann, Vice President, Research at LEO Pharma. “Zymeworks’ unique platforms and expertise may allow us to expedite the discovery and development of new therapeutics for diseases of the skin, which remain a large source of unmet medical need.”


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