GSK has expanded its licensing and collaboration agreement with Canadian biopharma Zymeworks.
Originally struck back in 2016, the agreement pooled both companies’ collective know-how to research, develop and commercialise bispecific antibodies across multiple disease areas.
Under the updated terms of the expanded agreement, GSK will have the option to develop and commercialise bispecific drugs across different disease areas and Zymeworks will be eligible to receive increased preclinical, development and commercial milestone payments.
If all six programs are developed and commercialised, the new potential value of the collaboration would be up to $1.1 billion.
The expanded agreement allows GSK access to Zymeworks’ unique heavy-light chain pairing technology – part of its proprietary Azymetric platform.
The platform enables the development of bispecific and multifunctional therapeutics while maintaining the characteristics of naturally occurring human antibodies.
Ali Tehrani, President and CEO of Zymeworks, said: “As part of this expansion, GSK expects to use our Azymetric technology to develop bispecifics for the treatment of infectious diseases, which highlights the utility of our platform beyond traditional indications like oncology and inflammatory disease.”