Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. issued the following announcement on April 25.
Zymeworks Inc. (NYSE/TSX: ZYME), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing multifunctional biotherapeutics, and Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited (“Daiichi Sankyo”) announced today that Daiichi Sankyo has exercised its option for a commercial license to a proprietary immuno-oncology bispecific built on Zymeworks’ Azymetric™ and EFECT™ platforms. Zymeworks will receive a US$3.5 million payment based on Daiichi Sankyo’s selection of the first of up to three lead product candidates under its collaboration agreements with Zymeworks.
“This is another example of how our Azymetric platform can facilitate the rapid selection and development of bispecific antibody candidates for our pharmaceutical partners,” said Ali Tehrani, Ph.D., President and CEO of Zymeworks. “We are thrilled to see Daiichi Sankyo move this novel therapeutic program into late-stage preclinical development. This is an important step forward towards our shared goal of improving the standard of care for patients with cancer.”
“Our partnership with Zymeworks has allowed us to develop therapeutic candidates based on complex mechanisms of action such as immune cell engagement,” said Antoine Yver, M.D., M.Sc., Executive Vice President and Global Head, Oncology Research and Development, Daiichi Sankyo. “Through this partnership, we have identified a novel bispecific therapeutic that we are excited to be advancing towards the clinic. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with Zymeworks to develop novel therapeutic options for patients with cancer worldwide.”
Under the terms of the 2016 cross-licensing and collaboration agreement, Zymeworks granted Daiichi Sankyo a license to Zymeworks’ Azymetric™ and EFECT™ platforms to develop a bispecific antibody therapeutic for which Zymeworks is eligible to receive further clinical and commercial milestone payments of up to US$143.4 million, 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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