OTTAWA, Sept. 2, 2011 /CNW/ - Rx&D President Russell Williams made the following statement regarding
Merck's collaboration with Zymeworks, a privately held Vancouver
"The announced agreement between Merck and Zymeworks, a Vancouver-based
biotechnology company, for the development of potentially novel
antibodies, offers a vivid example of the innovative scientific
collaborations being developed that may reap substantial benefits for
"These types of collaborations help to create jobs in the knowledge
economy. They attract investment to Canada and to our provinces and
they help to improve the quality of life of Canadians through the
development of potentially new biologic therapeutic candidates.
"Zymeworks will receive an upfront fee and is eligible to receive
research, development and regulatory milestones with a potential value
of up to US $187 million, as well as tiered royalty payments on sales
of products. Merck will have exclusive worldwide commercialization
rights to products derived from the collaboration.
"This unique collaboration adds to the list of more than $400 million in
investments in Canada announced by Rx&D member companies to date in
2011 that have preserved and created jobs in the life sciences sector.
These investments include the creation of centres to develop new
medicines and vaccines, increased manufacturing capacity and
partnerships with the public sector to fund research aimed at
understanding, preventing and treating disease.
"Canada will be able to attract more of these cutting edge partnerships
by upgrading our intellectual property (IP) regime to better compete
with the European Union, the United States and other leading nations.
We urge Canada and the European Union to complete the negotiations on
the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) that
includes stronger IP. Previous IP improvements over the past 25 years
have spurred an 800% increase in pharmaceutical research and
development investment in Canada.
"We congratulate both Merck and Zymeworks for their visionary alliance
that will undoubtedly lead to the development of advanced targeted
biologic therapies to improve health worldwide."
Rx&D is the association of leading research-based pharmaceutical
companies dedicated to improving the health of Canadians through the
discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community
represents 15,000 men and women working for 50 member companies and
invests more than $1 billion in research and development each year to
fuel Canada's knowledge-based economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical
Practices, our membership is committed to working in partnership with
governments, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly
ethical manner. For more information: visit: www.canadapharma.org
Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be
well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada.
Through our medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer and
animal products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140
countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate
our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching
policies, programs and partnerships. For more information about our
operations in Canada, visit www.merck.ca.
About Zymeworks Inc.
Zymeworks is a privately held biotechnology company that is developing
best-in-class antibody therapeutics for the treatment of oncology,
autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases. The company's proprietary
ZymeCAD™ structure-guided protein engineering technology and its novel
Azymetric™ and AlbuCORE™ platforms enable the development of highly
potent bi-specific antibodies and multivalent protein therapeutics
targeted across a range of indications. Zymeworks is focused on
growing its preclinical biotherapeutics pipeline through in-house
research and development programs and strategic collaborations. More
information on Zymeworks can be found at www.zymeworks.com.
SOURCE CANADA'S RESEARCH-BASED PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES (RX
For further information:
Rx&D Media Relations