ABLYNX TO RECEIVE €8 MILLION MILESTONE AS BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM STARTS FIRST PATIENT STUDY WITH A BI-SPECIFIC NANOBODY IN ONCOLOGY
GHENT, Belgium, 29 January 2016 - Ablynx [Euronext Brussels: ABLX; OTC: ABYLY] today announced that Boehringer Ingelheim has administered the first dose in a Phase I dose escalation study with the half-life extended bi-specific anti-VEGF/Ang2 Nanobody® in adult patients with advanced solid tumors, triggering an €8 million milestone payment to Ablynx. The aim of the study is to evaluate the safety profile and dosing schedule for this Nanobody.
The anti-VEGF/Ang2 Nanobody was discovered and developed as part of the Strategic Alliance between both parties, signed in September 2007. This Nanobody blocks both vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiopoietin-2 (Ang2), important proteins which are involved in the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels (angiogenesis), a vital mechanism in the growth of tumours.
Dr Edwin Moses, CEO of Ablynx, commented: "We are very pleased that the first bi-specific Nanobody, as part of our collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, has entered clinical development. The formatting flexibility and ability to link different Nanobodies together to bind to different proteins and/or epitopes is a key feature of our technology and is of particular interest in cancer drug development. We are looking forward to seeing more of these innovative product candidates enter the clinic in the future."
The results from the pre-clinical study have been presented by Boehringer Ingelheim at the 8th Euro Global Summit on Cancer Therapy and demonstrated that this bi-specific Nanobody potently inhibits VEGF and Ang2 signalling in multiple in vivo cancer models and strongly impairs proliferation and survival of human endothelial cells. In addition, the bi-specific Nanobody showed superior efficacy as compared to inhibition of the individual pathways by the reference monoclonal antibody drugs. The Nanobody was also found to be well tolerated in cynomolgus monkeys.
About Strategic Alliance between Boehringer Ingelheim and Ablynx
In September 2007, Ablynx and Boehringer Ingelheim entered into a Strategic Alliance on the discovery, development and commercialisation of Nanobody therapeutics across a range of diseases, including oncology, immunology, respiratory and vascular diseases. The agreement allows for potential milestone payments of up to €125 million plus royalties to Ablynx for each Nanobody which reaches the market. Boehringer Ingelheim is exclusively responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialisation of any products resulting from the collaboration. Ablynx retains certain co-promotion rights in Europe. To date, Ablynx has earned >€75 million in cash from this Strategic Alliance and in addition to the anti-VEGF/Ang2 Nanobody there are a number of other programmes advancing through pre-clinical development, all fully funded by Boehringer Ingelheim.
Ablynx is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of Nanobodies®, proprietary therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments, which combine the advantages of conventional antibody drugs with some of the features of small-molecule drugs. Ablynx is dedicated to creating new medicines which will make a real difference to society. Today, the Company has approximately 40 proprietary and partnered programmes in development in various therapeutic areas including inflammation, haematology, immuno-oncology, oncology and respiratory disease. The Company has collaborations with multiple pharmaceutical companies including AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eddingpharm, Genzyme, Merck & Co., Inc., Merck KGaA, Novartis, Novo Nordisk and Taisho Pharmaceuticals. The Company is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium. More information can be found on www.ablynx.com.
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