GHENT, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - October 02, 2012) - Ablynx [Euronext Brussels: ABLX] today
announced a collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc., through a subsidiary,
develop and commercialise Nanobody® candidates directed towards a
gated ion channel with the option to develop and commercialise a Nanobody to
second target. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada.
Under the terms of the agreement, Merck gains exclusive global rights
Nanobodies against the selected target, with an option for similar rights to
second target. Upon signing, Merck will pay Ablynx a EUR6.5 million
payment and a EUR2 million fee for research funding. In addition, Ablynx
eligible to receive up to EUR448 million in research, regulatory and
milestone payments associated with the progress of multiple candidates as
as tiered royalties on any products derived from the collaboration. Ablynx
be responsible for the discovery of Nanobody candidates and Merck will
responsible for the research, development, manufacturing and
of any Nanobody product resulting from the collaboration.
Dr Edwin Moses, Chairman and CEO of Ablynx said:
"We are delighted to initiate this collaboration with Merck in the area of
channels where to date monoclonal antibodies have demonstrated little
Due to the formatting flexibility of Nanobodies, we are able to
antibody-like selectivity and multi-specificity in one molecule, making
ideal candidates for ion channel modulators. This agreement reflects
potential power of the Nanobody platform and the considerable success we
had to date with seven Nanobody programmes at the clinical development stage."
"We are excited to be working with Ablynx to evaluate the potential of
Nanobody technology directed towards this challenging ion channel target,"
Richard Hargreaves, Ph.D., Vice President and Head of Neuroscience
Research at Merck.
About Ablynx' expertise in ion channels
Ablynx has already demonstrated modulation of ion channel activity
electrophysiology assays and has identified functional Nanobodies against
voltage-gated and ligand-gated ion channels. Nanobodies can be generated to
either an agonistic (enhancing) or antagonistic (blocking) effect.
About ion channels
The physiological importance of ion channels is underlined by their
in a wide range of conditions including neurological disorders,
diabetes, cancer and arrhythmia. Ion channels represent highly
therapeutic targets which are currently modulated by a range of small
drugs. In 2011, sales of the top 20 best-selling ion channel drugs
nearly $14 billion. Today, there are no approved antibody-based drugs
target ion channels.
Ablynx is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and
of Nanobodies®, a novel class of therapeutic proteins based on
antibody fragments, for a range of serious human diseases,
inflammation, haematology, oncology and pulmonary disease. Today, the
has approximately 25 programmes in the pipeline and seven Nanobodies at
development stage. Ablynx has ongoing research collaborations and
partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies, including
Ingelheim, Merck Serono, Novartis, and Merck & Co. The Company is
in Ghent, Belgium. More information can be found on www.ablynx.com.
Press release in pdf:
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Source: Ablynx via Thomson Reuters ONE