Now Public, Zymeworks Points Crosshairs Toward Cancer

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A Canadian company that recently went public has an admirably ambitious goal: kill cancer.

Zymeworks raised US$59 million in an initial public offering late last month when the company went public on the Toronto and the New York stock exchanges simultaneously.

The IPO was significant because it marked the first time in more than a decade that a BC-based biotech firm went public with venture capital backing.

“We intend to advance the development of disruptive therapeutic platforms and impactful biotherapeutics, especially in areas of unmet need,” the company explains on its website. “These platforms allow for the targeting of differentiated biological pathways leading to the internal and partnered development of novel therapies in a number of different indications.”

Zymeworks has secured around $150 million from investors thus far, including raising a $61 million round last year. While nothing is guaranteed, if the right drug came along to leverage one of Zymeworks’ platforms, revenue could reach into the billions.

The firm says it is “one of the fastest-growing biotechnology companies dedicated to the research, development, and commercialization of therapeutic antibodies”—which is to say that it’s currently hiring.

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