Zymeworks to cut headcount at least 25% by end of 2022

Soon after taking the reins of Zymeworks (NYSE:ZYME), new chair and CEO Kenneth Galbraith has decided to sharpen the company’s focus and reduce the firm’s headcount.

To free up cash, the company plans to lay off at least one-quarter of its staff, including 10 members (50%) of its senior management team.

The Vancouver–headquartered company also intends to focus on executing its clinical development programs for the HER2-targeted bispecific antibody zanidatamab and ZW49, a HER2-targeted antibody-drug conjugate.

Ken Galbraith

In December, Zymeworks and its partner BeiGene (NSDQ:BGNE) announced the dosing of the first patient with zanidatamab in a South Korean study.

In the organizational shift, the company also intends to streamline its R&D activities while hunting for new potential partnerships and collaborations.

“Upon assuming my new role effective January 15th, we have moved …

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Zymeworks names new CEO

Zymeworks (NYSE:ZYME) will install Ken Galbraith as chairman and CEO, replacing the company’s outgoing leader Ali Tehrani on or before February 1. 

Galbraith has more than 30 years of experience working in life sciences, venture capital and global commercialization. 

“Ken Galbraith is an outstanding global leader who brings more than 30 years of life science

industry, venture capital and commercialization experience to Zymeworks, along with a proven track record of strong leadership and operational skills,” said Lota Zoth, Zymeworks’ current board chair, in a statement.

Tehrani has served as president and CEO since 2003. 

Ken Galbraith

The company also announced that it would give its chief financial officer (CFO) Neil Klompas chief operating officer duties. Klompas will also retain his CFO mantle. 

Specializing in multifunctional, antibody-based drugs, Zymeworks plans on r…

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Zymeworks and its partner BeiGene expand zanidatamab pivotal trial in Asia

Zymeworks (NYSE:ZYME) and its collaborator BeiGene have announced the dosing of the first patient with zanidatamab (ZW25) in South Korea–based HERIZON-GEA-01 study. The study will focus on patients with advanced or metastatic HER2-positive gastroesophageal adenocarcinomas.

As a result of the development, Zymeworks will receive an $8 million development milestone payment from BeiGene.

Zymeworks and BeiGene plan to open roughly 300 clinical trial sites in 38 countries for the global HERIZON-GEA-01 pivotal trial. The companies anticipate approximately 700 patients to enroll in the study.

The Phase 3 trial will evaluate zanidatamab with a physician’s choice of chemotherapy (capecitabine/oxaliplatin or 5FU/cisplatin) with or without the PD-1 inhibitor tislelizumab. The study will pit that cohort against a group receiving trastuzumab and a physician’s choice chemotherapy.

Zanidatamab, a bispecific antibody, is one of Zymeworks’ lead drug candidates.

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Zymeworks is using a platform approach for biotherapeutics

Focused on antibody-based cancer therapies, Zymeworks (NYSE:ZYME) believes bi- and multi-specific antibodies offer significant potential in oncology. Such therapies could provide new biological avenues for cancer treatment and extend immunotherapy to patients with few options. The FDA has approved three bispecific antibodies, and more than one hundred others are in development across the industry.

Zymeworks has a multi-pronged strategy related to multi-specific antibodies. In addition to its lead drug candidates, zanidatamab (ZW25) and ZW49, the company has developed a series of technology platforms to assist with in-house development and partnerships.

“We want to take information and lessons learned from our clinical trials and apply that back to the next generation of therapies that we develop,” said Zymeworks executive vice president and chief scientific officer Tony Polverino.

Tony Polverino

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