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Novartis buys Ablynx Nanobody licences

Novartis has purchased licences from Belgium-based biopharmaceutical company, Ablynx, to further develop and commercialise two Nanobodies

Novartis has purchased licences from Belgium-based biopharmaceutical company, Ablynx, to further develop and commercialise two Nanobodies.

Novartis will pay €1m in upfront fees and licence payments for the novel therapeutics which were designed by Ablynx for use against complex targets.

"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," said  Dr Edwin Moses, CEO and chairman of Ablynx. "The targets are ones where conventional antibody approaches have had limited success."

Novartis will take control of the progress of both Nanobody programmes, with Ablynx eligible to receive milestone payments based on further developments, as well as royalties based on sales once the products have been commercialised.

The licence acquisition is part of a deal between the two companies made in 2005 where Ablynx and Novartis agreed to collaborate in the research and development of Nanobody based therapeutics against a range of disease targets that are difficult to treat with conventional antibodies.

This deal was extended last year, and includes R&D payments, licence fees, milestones and royalties.

Ablynx has further partnerships involving Nanobodies with Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim and Merck Serono. The company was recently awarded €1.5m in grants to help the development of its potential therapeutics.

13th July 2010

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