Ablynx Collaborates With Merck to Develop Therapeutic Nanobody

Ablynx Collaborates With Merck to Develop Therapeutic Nanobody
Candidates 
GHENT, BELGIUM -- (Marketwire) -- 10/02/12 --  Ablynx  [Euronext 
Brussels:  ABLX]  today announced  a  collaboration  with  Merck  & 
Co., Inc., through a subsidiary, to
develop  and  commercialise 
Nanobody(R)  candidates  directed towards a voltage
gated  ion
channel with the option to  develop and commercialise a Nanobody to
a
second target. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and
Canada. 
Under  the  terms  of  the  agreement,  Merck  gains  exclusive
global rights to
Nanobodies  against the selected target, with an 
option for similar rights to a
second  target.  Upon  signing,  Merck
 will  pay  Ablynx a EUR6.5 million upfront
payment  and a EUR2
million fee for  research funding. In addition, Ablynx will be
eligible  to receive up  to EUR448 million  in research, regulatory
and commercial
milestone  payments associated with the progress  of
multiple candidates as well
as  tiered royalties on any products
derived from the collaboration. Ablynx will
be  responsible  for  the
 discovery  of  Nanobody  candidates and Merck will be
responsible 
for the research,  development, manufacturing and
commercialisation
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 ion
channels  where to date monoclonal  antibodies have
demonstrated little success.
Due  to  the  formatting  flexibility 
of  Nanobodies,  we  are  able to combine
antibody-like  selectivity
and  multi-specificity in  one molecule,  making them
ideal 
candidates  for  ion  channel  modulators.  This  agreement  reflects
the
potential  power of the  Nanobody platform and  the considerable
success we have
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 the
Nanobody  technology directed towards this
challenging ion channel target," said
Richard  Hargreaves, Ph.D., 
Vice President  and Head  of Neuroscience Discovery
Research at
Merck. 
About Ablynx' expertise in ion channels 
Ablynx   has   already  demonstrated  modulation  of  ion  channel 
activity in
electrophysiology  assays and has identified  functional
Nanobodies against both
voltage-gated and ligand-gated ion channels.
Nanobodies can be generated to have
either an agonistic (enhancing)
or antagonistic (blocking) effect. 
About ion channels 
The  physiological importance of ion channels is underlined by their
involvement
in  a wide range  of conditions including  neurological
disorders, hypertension,
diabetes,   cancer  and  arrhythmia.  Ion 
channels  represent  highly valuable
therapeutic  targets which are
currently modulated  by a range of small molecule
drugs.  In 2011,
sales  of the  top 20 best-selling  ion channel  drugs
amounted
nearly  $14 billion.[1] Today,  there are no  approved
antibody-based drugs that
target ion channels. 
------------------------------------------------- 
[1] MedTrack 
About Ablynx 
Ablynx  is a biopharmaceutical company engaged  in the discovery and
development
of  Nanobodies(R), a novel class of  therapeutic proteins
based on single-domain
antibody   fragments,   for   a  range  of 
serious  human  diseases, including
inflammation,  haematology,
oncology  and pulmonary  disease. Today, the Company
has
approximately 25 programmes in the pipeline and seven Nanobodies at
clinical
development  stage. Ablynx  has ongoing  research
collaborations and significant
partnerships   with   major  
pharmaceutical   companies,  including Boehringer
Ingelheim,  Merck
Serono, Novartis, and Merck & Co. The Company is headquartered
in
Ghent, Belgium. More information can be found on www.ablynx.com. 
Press release in pdf: http://hugin.info/137912/R/1645432/530133.pdf 
This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of
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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#1645432] 
For more information, please contact 
Ablynx:
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:  edwin.moses@ablynx.com 
Marieke Vermeersch
Associate Director Investor Relations
t:   +32 (0)9 262 00 82
m: +32 (0)479 49 06 03
e:  marieke.vermeersch@ablynx.com
Follow us on Twitter @AblynxABLX 
M:Communications:
Mary-Jane Elliott
Amber Bielecka
Claire Dickinson
t:   +44 207 920 2330
e:  ablynx@mcomgroup.com
 
 
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