The investment firm that launched an unsolicited takeover bid for Zymeworks has now tapped an AstraZeneca vet to help design the future strategy, adding some weight to its $773 million bid. dollars.
Alan Barge, former head of oncology at AstraZeneca, joins All Blue Capital as an oncology drug development advisor.
“I worked closely with the team to develop a business plan for Zymeworks that can create superior value,” Barge said in a statement. “I look forward to contributing my expertise to help get Zymeworks back on track.”
All Blue, an approximately 5% shareholder of Zymeworks, sent the biotechnology board a few days ago an offer to buyout, in cash, for $10.50 per share, with the explicit purpose of “Reverse the value-destroying measures that Zymeworks and its board of directors implemented over the past 12 months.”
The nearly 20-year-old Canadian biotech has been on a downward spiral since the start of 2021, even as it tried to interest investors in new data regarding its bispecific and multifunctional HER2 antibody platform more broadly. Since Kenneth Galbraith replaced Ali Tehrani in January, Zymeworks has accelerated the changes, laying off 25% of its staff and selling shares at a discount in an attempt to right the ship.
Zymeworks has not issued any statement on this matter since acknowledging receipt of the proposed deal. He also made no mention of All Blue’s offer in his 10-K. depositgiving only a simple clinical and financial update.
All Blue said it hoped to discuss the offer with Zymeworks “in good faith and in a timely manner.” If the acquisition goes through, he added, Barge — who is also a co-founder of Carrick Therapeutics and Aslan Pharmaceuticals — will remain on Zymeworks’ board.