Home » Business News » 2012 » September » September 20, 2012

Ablynx and Its Partner Advance Nanobody Candidate ALX-0751 in Pre-Clinical Development

September 20, 2012 - Ghent, Belgium

Ablynx [Euronext Brussels: ABLX] todayannounced that they have advanced the Nanobody(®) candidate ALX-0751,togetherwith Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, intopre-clinical development in the field of oncology. This is the secondpre-clinicalcandidate that has emerged from the collaboration which the companiesenteredinto in 2008, and will result in a EUR1 million milestone payment toAblynx.

"We are very pleased to see our joint oncology programme with MerckSeronoadvancing into pre-clinical development in less than four years since thestartof our collaboration," said Dr Edwin Moses, Chairman and CEO of Ablynx."This isthe second pre-clinical development asset that we have with Merck Seronoand weare looking forward to seeing this programme advance towards the clinic."

In September 2008, Ablynx entered into an agreement with Merck under whichMerckSerono and Ablynx agreed to co-discover and co-develop Nanobodiesagainst twotargets in immunology and oncology. The agreement included an upfrontcashpayment to Ablynx of EUR10 million and both companies committed to sharingequallyall research and development costs and the resulting profits. Ablynxalso hasoptions to opt-out during the research and development programmes, in whichcaseAblynx would be eligible to receive milestones and royalties.

In October 2010, Ablynx and Merck entered into a second co-discoveryandco-development agreement to develop Nanobodies against one singletarget ininflammation. Ablynx received an upfront fee of EUR10 million andretained fullcontrol to drive the process up to the Investigational New Drug(IND)application upon which it is eligible to receive a EUR15 millionsuccess feeprovided that Merck Serono accepts the IND package. This agreement alsoallowsAblynx to continue with Merck Serono on a co-development basis andshare thepotential resulting profits, or to convert this collaboration into alicensingdeal with milestone payments and significant tiered royalties.

In November 2011, Ablynx and Merck announced that they have furtherexpandedtheir relationship and entered into a third agreement to co-discoverandco-develop Nanobodies against two targets in osteoarthritis. Ablynxreceived anupfront fee of EUR20 million and will be fully responsible for allactivities andcosts for each programme, excluding manufacturing costs and costsrelating tocertain in vivo models, up to the delivery of the pre-clinical package thatwillform the basis of an Investigational New Drug (IND) filing or INDequivalentfiling. Ablynx is entitled to receive a further EUR15 million for eachprogrammeif the pre-clinical packages are accepted by Merck Serono. At that point,Ablynxhas the option to continue with Merck Serono on a 50:50 co-developmentbasis andshare the resulting profits, or to convert this collaboration into anexclusive,worldwide licensing deal with milestone payments and tiered royalties.

About Ablynx

Ablynx is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery anddevelopmentof Nanobodies(®), a novel class of therapeutic proteins based onsingle-domainantibody fragments, for a range of serious human diseases,includinginflammation, haematology, oncology and pulmonary disease. Today, theCompanyhas approximately 25 programmes in the pipeline and seven Nanobodies atclinicaldevelopment stage. Ablynx has ongoing research collaborations andsignificantpartnerships with major pharmaceutical companies, includingBoehringerIngelheim, Merck KGaA, and Novartis. The Company is headquartered inGhent,Belgium. More information can be found on

press release in pdf:

This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf ofThomson Reuters clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that:

(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and

(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.

Source: Ablynx via Thomson Reuters ONE[HUG#1642579]

For more information, please contact

Dr Edwin Moses
Chairman and CEO
t: +32 (0)9 262 00 07
m: +44 (0)7771 954 193 /
+32 (0)473 39 50 68
e: Email Contact

Marieke Vermeersch
Associate Director Investor Relations
t: +32 (0)9 262 00 82
m: +32 (0)479 49 06 03
e: Email Contact
Follow us on Twitter @AblynxABLX

Mary-Jane Elliott, Amber Bielecka, Claire Dickinson
t: +44 207 920 2330
e: Email Contact


Comment on this story