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Drug Names(s): ZW 25, ZW-25
ZW25 is a bi-specific Azymetric antibody that targets two different epitopes (bi-paratopic targeting) of the HER2 protein, which is overexpressed on the surface of some cancerous cells.
Bi-specific antibodies developed using the Azymetric platform resemble conventional mono-specific antibodies while being able to simultaneously bind to two different targets. Azymetric antibodies spontaneously assemble into a single molecule with two different Fab domains comprising of unique heavy and light chain pairings.
While several HER2-directed therapies are currently marketed, their usage is limited to patients with high HER2 expression levels (gene amplified or HER2 3+ by IHC). Compared to such therapies, ZW25 shows enhanced activity as a result of multiple mechanisms of action, and preclinical data supports the potential clinical utility of ZW25 for patients expressing lower levels of HER2 that are not eligible for other HER2-targeted therapies.
Zymeworks and Celgene
In January 2015, Zymeworks announced a collaboration and licensing agreement with Celgene Corp. for the research, development, and commercialization of bi-specific antibody therapeutics enabled using Zymeworks proprietary Azymetric platform.
Under the terms of the agreement, Zymeworks and Celgene will collaborate on the research and development of multiple bi-specific antibodies based on the Azymetric platform. Celgene will have the option to advance the resulting bi-specific candidates through clinical development and subsequent commercialization. Zymeworks will receive an initial upfront payment, as well as an equity investment from Celgene. Zymeworks is eligible to receive clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones on successful candidates totaling up to US $164M per therapeutic candidate. Additionally, Zymeworks will receive royalties on worldwide net sales. Further financial details are not disclosed.
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