Zymeworks Nabs $15M, Adds Lilly Partnership, in Antibody Drug Quest

1/9/14Follow @xconomy

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more external sourcing of deals like the one with Zymeworks (see this recent WSJ story). Since Roger Perlmutter joined a year ago as head of R&D, many cuts have been made, and a number of senior Merck veterans have been sidelined.

Through it all, Tehrani said his collaboration with Merck didn’t miss a beat. Perlmutter, while running R&D at Amgen, was part of the team that acquired a leading bispecific antibody player in Micromet. “As has been widely reported, Roger Perlmutter is a very big fan of biologics. Everybody we were dealing with in the Merck biologics group in Palo Alto is still there,” Tehrani says.

The advantage at Zymeworks, Tehrani says, is that its technology can be used to manufacture bispecific antibodies at commercial scale, while many others can other be applied to smaller quantities needed for research. The company also received some data from animal experiments that showed a bispecific antibody for breast cancer stacked up favorably when compared to the standard trastuzumab (Herceptin) from Genentech.

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  • Robert Jones

    This is like the Seven Minute Abs business idea from Something About Mary. The crazy drifter proposes the 7 minute abs routine to compete against the 8 minute abs being advertised on TV. Ted goes one further with 6 minute abs.

    Why stop at two targets per antibody? Is there a biotech company out there with a tri-specific antibody? 4,5,6… 7?

    “7′s the key number here. Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 dwarves. 7, man, that’s the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin’ on a branch, eatin’ lots of sunflowers on my uncle’s ranch. You know that old children’s tale from the sea. It’s like you’re dreamin’ about Gorgonzola cheese when it’s clearly Brie time, baby.”

    • Rick in China

      That’s a pretty stupid take-away from the article. Clearly you don’t have any valid input or understanding of what the company does – or what the industry is currently technologically capable of doing – and are just trolling an empty comments section.