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Sanofi and Ablynx sign €2.4bn nanobody deal

The duo will develop immune-mediated inflammatory disease candidates


Ablynx has won a new partner for its ‘nanobody’ therapeutics, signing a research collaboration and global licensing deal with Sanofi.

The partners will focus on developing and commercialising nanobody-based therapeutics for the treatment of various immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID).

The collaboration will see Sanofi gain global rights to certain multi-specific  nanobodies - which come in at around one tenth the size of regular antibodies - against selected targets for a total of eight potential candidates. The agreement will also allow Sanofi to access Ablynx’ scientists and its nanobody platform.

“We are particularly excited by the Ablynx technology as a leading biologics platform, enabling the development of transformative multi-targeting treatment approaches,” said Franke Nestle, managing director of Sanofi’s global head of immunology therapeutic research area and chief scientific officer, North America.

“Through external partnerships like these, combined with our internal R&D expertise, we aim to transform the treatment landscape for patients living with autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.”

A total of €23m will be paid to the Belgian biopharmaceutical group, comprised of license and option fees. In addition Ablynx will also receive around €8m in research funding and up to €2.4bn in milestone and royalty payments.

Dr Edwin Moses, chief executive officer of Ablynx, said: “This strategically important collaboration further confirms the potential of our nanobody platform and is a unique opportunity for us to work with a world-leader like Sanofi in the development of a new generation of therapeutics for the treatment of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.

“We look forward to exploring the different nanobody target combinations as new and novel therapeutic options for patients suffering from a range of inflammatory diseases.”

Sanofi isn’t the first pharma giant to jump on the nanobody bandwagon as Novartis purchased two licences from Ablynx back in 2010, paying €1m in upfront fees and licence payments for the novel therapeutics.

Article by
Gemma Jones

21st July 2017

From: Research



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