Transforming Discovery into Opportunity

Zymeworks and Kairos Therapeutics Enter into Strategic Partnership and Optional Merger Agreement to Develop Antibody Drug Conjugates and Bi-Specific Antibodies

Kairos - zyme

Vancouver, Canada – January 8, 2016: Zymeworks Inc. and Kairos Therapeutics Inc., both privately-held biotech companies headquartered in Vancouver, today announced they have entered into a strategic partnership whereby Zymeworks, a leader in the development of bi-specific and multi-specific antibodies, has made an undisclosed equity investment in Kairos which specializes in the discovery and development of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) and is a  spin-out of The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD). Under the terms of this agreement, Zymeworks and Kairos also have the option to merge to further integrate their respective platforms, resources and pipelines to accelerate the development of novel anti-cancer biotherapeutics.

Kairos Therapeutics is developing a pipeline of antibody-drug conjugate therapeutics based on a proprietary toxin, linker and site-specific conjugation platform. The platform, which is currently partnered through numerous collaborations, is a key contributor to personalized medicine as it allows scientists to develop therapeutics that target cancer with increased potency and efficacy while reducing toxic side-effects.

“We are excited to work with the team at Kairos in bringing together complementary technologies for the creation of novel and highly efficacious therapies for cancer patients,” said Ali Tehrani, Ph.D., President and CEO of Zymeworks. “This is an excellent opportunity to leverage the therapeutic potential of ADCs in combination with our Azymetric™, AlbuCORE™, and EFECT™ platforms to help us create first-in-class biotherapeutics. This strategic investment and opportunity to integrate Kairos’ ADC platform and expertise furthers our strategy of acquiring innovative technologies that can augment internal capabilities and accelerate development programs.”

“We believe we have developed a superior antibody-drug conjugate platform which has demonstrated significant advantages over existing ADC platforms, and our proprietary approach shows promise in the development of treatments for a range of different cancers,” said John Babcook, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Kairos. “I’m excited to bring together the complementary technologies of Kairos and Zymeworks to create cancer therapeutics that have the potential to be transformative to the lives of patients.”

CDRD President and CEO, Karimah Es Sabar added, “We are proud of the Kairos ADC platform and the work that has led to this agreement with Zymeworks. As Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre, CDRD is in a unique position to provide world-class drug development infrastructure to incubate many exciting technologies, and this enabled and accelerated the development of Kairos’ novel platform. The combined forces of these two BC-based Canadian companies is a testament to the strength of this cluster and the innovation and translation capabilities in British Columbia – and across Canada.”



About Zymeworks Inc.:
Zymeworks is a privately held biotherapeutics company that is developing best-in-class Azymetric™ bi-specific antibodies and antibody drug conjugates for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The company’s novel Azymetric™, AlbuCORE™, and EFECT™ platforms, and its proprietary ZymeCAD™ structure-guided protein engineering technology, enable the development of highly potent bi-specific antibodies and multivalent protein therapeutics across a range of indications. Zymeworks is focused on accelerating its preclinical biotherapeutics pipeline through in-house research and development programs and strategic collaborations.

About Kairos Therapeutics Inc.:
Kairos Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company with a proprietary next-generation antibody-drug conjugate platform based on novel toxin, linker, and site-specific conjugation technology. This technology enables the development of highly efficacious and targeted therapeutics with reduced side-effects. Through key partnerships, Kairos is developing a pipeline of novel antibody-drug conjugate therapeutics for the treatment of multiple forms of cancer. 

About The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD):
Headquartered in Vancouver, The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) is Canada’s national drug development and commercialization engine. CDRD works in partnership with academia, industry, government and foundations, provides the specialized expertise and infrastructure to identify and de-risk promising discoveries, and transform them into commercially viable investment opportunities for the private sector – and ultimately into innovative new therapies for patients. In doing so, CDRD is actively growing Canada’s national health sciences industry into a wholly-optimized generator of economic prosperity for the country. Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR). 



Media Inquiries
Michael Lampe
Telephone: 484-575-5040

Zymeworks Inc.
David Poon, PhD – Sr. Director, External R&D and Alliances
Telephone: 604-678-1388

Kairos Therapeutics Inc.
John Babcook – President and CSO
Telephone: 604-827-1213 | Mobile: 604-862-5912

Barry Gee – Director, Communications
Telephone: 604-827-1223 | Mobile: 604-619-4805

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