Vancouver’s Zymeworks to Hire an Additional 45 Employees by the End of 2017

Published: May 31, 2017

Vancouver’s Zymeworks to Hire an Additional 45 Employees by the End of 2017 May 31, 2017
By Renee Morad, Breaking News Staff

The fast growth of Vancouver, B.C.-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical company Zymeworks is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

For starters, the company, which is working to develop and commercialize next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics, successfully completed an initial public offering of 4.5 million common shares on the NYSE and Toronto Stock Exchange on April 28, 2017, raising a total of $58.5 million. The company now trades under the symbol ZYME on both exchanges.

Its successful offering follows hot on the heels of the company opening a new, state-of-the-art 10,000 square foot laboratory facility in Vancouver in January. Furthermore, Zymeworks is taking steps to bolster its employee base, with plans to expand its headcount by over 45 employees by the end of 2017.

Zymeworks, founded in 2003, is known for developing the ZymeCAD molecular simulation engine for protein modeling and structure-guided optimization that relates the functional and biophysical characteristics of a protein to its structure. The company’s lead product candidate is ZW25, which is currently in a Phase I clinical trial in the U.S. and has demonstrated anti-tumor activity in preclinical models of gastric cancer. It was created for the treatment of certain HER2-expressing cancers.

Otherwise known as the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 protein, HER2 is over-expressed on the surface of certain types of tumors, such as certain breast, gastric, lung and ovarian cancers. ZW25 received two orphan drug designations for ovarian cancer and gastric cancer.

Zymeworks currently has 140 employees in total, with 86 at its main office and 34 at its laboratory facility in Vancouver, and an additional 20 at its satellite office in Seattle.

Approximately two-thirds of the soon-to-be-filled positions include Research Associate and Scientist roles. These positions will fall across a number of groups including conjugation chemistry, assay development, antibody generation, molecular simulations, protein engineering and oncology.

“At Zymeworks, we are pushing the boundaries of science to positively impact the lives of patients,” says Wajida LeClerc, vice president of Human Resources at Zymeworks. “We are looking to hire dedicated people who value integrity, innovation, and thrive in a setting that encourages teamwork.”

Zymeworks has been growing steadily over the past several years. In 2016, the company had a significant growth spurt, nearly doubling its headcount from 65 to 115 employees.

In addition to the hiring news, Zymeworks has also contributed to a series of recent collaborations. In March, the company joined forces with Applied BioMath, which applies mechanistic modeling to drug research and development for quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) support for antibody drug conjugate therapeutics intended to treat cancer. This is in addition to the company’s ongoing collaborations with Merck , Eli Lilly , Celgene , GlaxoSmithKline , and Daiichi-Sankyo.

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