Under the agreement, GSK will have the option to develop and commercialize multiple bi-specific drugs across different disease areas. Zymeworks will receive upfront and preclinical payments of up to USD$36 million and is eligible to receive up to USD$152 million in development and clinical milestone payments, along with commercial sales milestone payments of up to USD$720 million, and tiered royalties on potential sales.
As previously announced in December 2015, Zymeworks and GSK entered into a collaboration and license agreement to further develop Zymeworks’ Effector Function Enhancement and Control Technology (EFECT™) platform and to research, develop, and commercialize novel Fc-engineered monoclonal and bi-specific antibody therapeutics that have been optimized for specific therapeutic effects. As part of this second agreement, GSK has also gained the right to combine the Azymetric™ platform with novel engineered Fc domains developed under the previously announced collaboration.
“We are excited to be expanding our relationship with GSK to include our Azymetric™ bi-specific platform. We view this new collaboration as evidence of our valuable role as a partner and the strength of our proprietary drug development platforms,” said Ali Tehrani, Ph.D., President and CEO of Zymeworks. “The proceeds from this collaboration will be used to advance our pipeline of therapeutic candidates, including the Azymetric™ antibody ZW25 and the Azymetric™ antibody drug conjugate ZW33, into human clinical trials this year. They will also be utilized to support the continued expansion and strengthening of our core capabilities in antibody discovery, protein engineering, and antibody drug conjugates."