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Zymeworks: Synonymous With Best In Class?

Jul. 14, 2017 12:15 PM ETZymeworks Inc. (ZYME), ZYME:CAPIRS6 Comments
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Altum Research


  • Newly IPO'd Zymeworks promises to design '"best in class" antibody and protein therapeutics.
  • Using bioinformatics and computational design, the company is targeting HER2-cancer therapies with ZW25 and ZW33.
  • An impressive list of collaborations has potential milestones far above $1 billion.
  • Early stage gives plenty of time to keep watch on ZYME.
  • We're not yet committed to buying the stock, but placing it on watch.

What Is Zymeworks?

The Canadian company Zymeworks (NASDAQ:ZYME) recently IPO'd on NYSE and TSX, with a closing of $58 million on 4.5 million shares, followed by an over-allotment of 394,467 additional shares sold for an extra $5.2 million.

However, at first glance it is difficult to really probe what makes ZYME different. Targeting HER2 therapies certainly isn't novel or unique, but the company insists that it can make best in class therapies using an engine to design antibodies and proteins in silico (on the computer). The engine, ZymeCAD, is depicted as a new breakthrough in biological design - having what the other platforms (Schrödinger, Amber, etc) do not.

Whether that is actually the case is difficult to see 1st hand - everything is proprietary and they do not out-license the software. Instead, the company seeks to make collaborations with Big Pharma to produce in-house therapeutics that rival the current best-in-class.

ZymeCAD engine has been utilized to make multiple platform technologies.

  • Azymetric
    • Used to produce bi-specific antibodies in a normal mono-specific manner, benefits of mono-specific antibodies with bi-specific capability
  • AlbuCORE
    • Platform for developing novel human serum albumin (HSA) conjugates and chimeras, with potential therapeutic mechanisms
    • Looks at optimizing antibodies for their interactions with the innate immune system.
  • ZymeLink
    • Develops antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) for delivering "warheads" into tumor cells. Works in tandem with the other three platforms.


The collaborations, which are extensive and can be viewed here, paint a very bullish picture for the potential of the company's platform.

The Lilly and GSK collabs are the largest, with GSK being potentially the largest and looking at a minimum of 4 targets, with milestones totaling over $1 billion. However, we find this number to be unlikely, but still, as we will discuss later, model approximately 2 targets being followed into clinical phase trials.

This article was written by

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