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Posted: May 25, 2010
Ablynx and Pfizer Extend Research Collaboration on Anti-TNF-Alpha Nanobodies
(Nanowerk News) Ablynx has announced that the research collaboration which forms part of its license agreement for Nanobodies to tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) with Pfizer has been extended for another year.
Ablynx announced the exclusive research collaboration and license agreement with Pfizer (originally signed with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals) in November 2006, a deal potentially worth $212.5 million in past and future milestone payments for commercialisation across multiple indications. In addition, Ablynx is eligible to receive royalties on product sales. Under this agreement, Pfizer has exclusive rights to develop and commercialise anti-TNF-alpha Nanobodies developed under the collaboration. The lead Nanobody-based candidate is in a Phase II study in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
The license agreement includes a research collaboration where Pfizer and Ablynx are working together to discover and develop additional Nanobody-based therapeutics against TNF-alpha. TNF-alpha is a key drug target in combating inflammation related disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
Dr. Edwin Moses, CEO and Chairman of Ablynx, commented: "We are delighted with this research collaboration extension and the rapid progress made in the partnership with Pfizer. We look forward to seeing the lead Nanobody candidate progress through Phase II trials, as well as working towards the goal of advancing additional anti-TNF-alphaNanobodies towards the clinic. There are now four Nanobodies in clinical trials including Ablynx’s two anti-thrombosis programmes and an anti-RANKL programme.”
Founded in 2001 in Ghent, Belgium, Ablynx is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of Nanobodies, a novel class of therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments, for a range of serious and life-threatening human diseases. The Company currently has over 230 employees. Ablynx completed a successful IPO on Euronext Brussels [ABLX] on 7 November 2007 and raised €50 million through an SPO in March 2010.
Ablynx is developing a portfolio of Nanobody-based therapeutics in a number of major disease areas, including inflammation, thrombosis, oncology and Alzheimer's disease. Ablynx now has over 25 programmes in its therapeutic pipeline including four Nanobodies in clinical development. So far, Nanobodies have been successfully generated against more than 190 different protein targets including several complex targets such as chemokines, GPCRs, ion channels and viruses, which are typically very difficult to approach with conventional monoclonal antibodies. Efficacy data have been obtained in 28 in vivo models for Nanobodies against a range of different targets.
Ablynx has an extensive patent position in the field of Nanobodies for healthcare applications. It has exclusive and worldwide rights to more than 130 families of granted patents and pending patent applications, including the Hamers patents covering the basic structure, composition, preparation and uses of Nanobodies.
Ablynx has ongoing research collaborations and significant partnerships with several major pharmaceutical companies, including Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck Serono, Novartis and Pfizer (previously Wyeth Pharmaceuticals). Ablynx is building a diverse and broad portfolio of therapeutic Nanobodies through these collaborations as well as through its own internal discovery programmes.