Zymeworks, Merck to develop multispecific antibodies

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

July 9, 2020 -- Merck has signed a research and licensing agreement to develop multispecific antibody therapeutic candidates using platforms from clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Zymeworks.

Under terms of the agreement, Merck has provided Zymeworks with an undisclosed upfront payment. In return, Zymeworks will provide Merck with a worldwide, royalty-bearing license to research, develop, and commercialize as many as three multispecific antibodies.

Should the programs create an approved product, Zymeworks is eligible to receive up to $411 million in option exercise fees and clinical development and regulatory approval milestone payments. The company can also receive up to $480 million in commercial milestone payments and tiered royalties on sales.

Merck and Zymeworks have previously partnered to develop bispecific antibodies, including instituting an expanded partnership in 2014. The new agreement does not impact the original partnership, the companies noted.

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