Zymeworks, a Vancouver-based, privately held biotherapeutics company, has entered into a collaboration and license agreement with GlaxoSmithKline for the research, development and commercialization of novel Fc-engineered monoclonal and bi-specific antibody therapeutics that have been optimized for specific therapeutic effects.
Zymeworks and GSK will collaborate to further develop Zymeworks’ Effector Function Enhancement and Control Technology (EFECT) platform through the design, engineering and testing of novel engineered Fc domains tailored to induce specific antibody-mediated immune responses. At the conclusion of the research collaboration, both GSK and Zymeworks will have the right to develop and commercialize monoclonal and bi-specific antibody candidates that incorporate Zymeworks’ optimized immune-modulating Fc domains. GSK will have the right to develop a minimum of four products across multiple disease areas, and Zymeworks will be eligible to receive preclinical, clinical and commercial milestones of up to $110 million for each product, as well as tiered sales royalties. Further financial details are not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with GSK on the development of next-generation antibody therapeutics that incorporate the EFECT platform to help fight life-threatening diseases,” said Ali Tehrani, Ph.D., president and CEO of Zymeworks. “This is a unique opportunity for Zymeworks to apply our antibody engineering expertise in collaboration with GSK’s drug discovery capabilities to develop and commercialize novel antibody therapeutics. The collaboration will also allow Zymeworks to combine the novel immune-modulating Fc domains with our Azymetric platform to generate bi-specific antibodies with customized immune modulatory functions.”