Zymeworks and LEO Pharma 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 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.
Their first joint antibody collaboration
“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.”
Terms of the agreement
Under the terms of the agreement, Zymeworks will provide LEO Pharma with a worldwide, royalty-bearing license to research, develop, and commercialize two bispecific antibodies directed to LEO Pharma’s targets using Zymeworks’ Azymetric and EFECT platforms. Zymeworks will receive an upfront payment of US$5 million and research funding payments, and is eligible to receive development and commercial milestone payments of up to US$231 million for the first therapeutic candidate and up to US$244 million for the second.
In addition, Zymeworks is eligible to receive tiered royalties of up to 20% in the U.S. and high single-digit royalties elsewhere on any future sales of the first therapeutic candidate, and up to low double-digit royalties globally on any future sales of the second. Zymeworks retains the rights to develop antibodies targeting cytokine-receptor pathways in any non-dermatology indications, and LEO Pharma is eligible to receive commercial milestone payments and single-digit royalties on any future sales of such antibodies.