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Drug Names(s): ZW 33, ZW-33
ZW33 is a bi-specific antibody that delivers a cytotoxic payload to cancers cells by binding to two different epitopes (bi-paratopic targeting) of the overexpressed HER2 protein on the cell surface.
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.
ZW33 is based on the same antibody framework as ZW25 and leverages the same mechanisms of action including enhanced effector function, increased signaling blockade, and enhanced HER2 internalization. Based on the increased extent of internalization, the antibody was engineered to include a cytotoxic payload for added anti-tumor efficacy. The pre-clinical data supports the clinical utility of ZW33 for patients with late-stage tumors expressing lower levels of HER2 and who are resistant/refractory to HER2-targeted treatments.
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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