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Ablynx announced today that Novartis has obtained licenses to further develop and commercialise Nanobodies against two complex targets. This has triggered a total of €1 million in upfront fees and license payments to Ablynx.
The two targets were the subject of programmes as part of the research agreement between the parties, entered into in 2005 and extended by mutual agreement last year. Novartis will now assume responsibility for the continued progress of both programmes and Ablynx will be eligible to receive development based milestone payments and royalties on sales following commercialisation of the products.
Dr Edwin Moses, CEO and Chairman of Ablynx, commented: "We are excited to see these two complex programmes progressing towards the clinic in Novartis' hands and pleased that the commercial licenses have been executed. The targets are ones where conventional antibody approaches have had limited success. This is further validation of the unique nature of Ablynx's Nanobody platform, where functional Nanobodies have been successfully generated against GPCRs and ion channels. Earlier this year, we announced that we have selected a new GPCR targeting development candidate, ALX-0651, an anti-CXCR4 Nanobody which is being developed by Ablynx."
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 240 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 address 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.
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