What happened

Shares of clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Zymeworks (ZYME -1.18%) rose 12.18% on Monday. The stock closed at $6.65 on Friday, opened on Monday at $6.69, and then ran to a high of $7.77 in the afternoon, before closing at $7.46. The stock has a 52-week low of $4.11 and a 52-week high of $25.74. So far this year, Zymeworks' shares are down more than 54%.

So what

Zymeworks specializes in antibody therapies to treat solid tumors. The Canadian company hasn't made any announcements that would drive up the stock since its Oct. 20 press release detailing a licensing deal with Jazz Pharmaceuticals. The deal was for Zymeworks' multicancer therapy Zanidatamab, and the agreement could be worth as much as $1.76 billion for Zymeworks, it said.

Zanidatamab is a HER2-targeted bispecific antibody in phase 1 and phase 2 trials to treat certain HER2-expressing cancers, such as biliary tract, gastroesophageal, and certain breast cancers.

Now what

The biotech stock may be getting a bump from a short squeeze. It has a relatively high short-squeeze score of 87.99, according to Fintel Technologies. The company is scheduled to announce third-quarter earnings on Nov. 8. Its deal with Jazz will allow it to plow more money into research and development for its preclinical programs, which include five new compounds.

Zymeworks' only other clinical program is ZW49 (Zanidatamab Zovodotin), which is being looked at as a therapy to treat solid tumors. The company also has hopes to bring ZW171 and ZW191 into clinical studies by 2024. ZW171 is seen as a potential therapy to treat pancreatic, ovarian, and colorectal cancers; while ZW191 is being examined to treat ovarian, gynecological, and non-small cell lung cancers.

Some investors were unhappy with the deal. This past spring, the company fought off a hostile takeover by Dubai-based hedge fund All Blue to purchase the company for $773 million.

Zymeworks, in the second quarter, reported revenue of $5.4 million compared to $1.8 million in the same period in 2021, with a net loss of $64.6 million, or an earnings per share (EPS) loss of $0.97 compared to an EPS loss of $1.31 in the first quarter of 2021. As of second-quarter 2022, the company had $241.8 million in cash -- enough, it said, to fund operations into the second half of 2023.