Ablynx and Spirogen Enter Into a Research Collaboration to Evaluate the Potential of Novel Toxin-Nanobody Drug Conjugates in

Ablynx and Spirogen Enter Into a Research Collaboration to Evaluate the 
Potential of Novel Toxin-Nanobody Drug Conjugates in Cancer 
GHENT, BELGIUM and LONDON -- (Marketwire) -- 02/25/13 --  Ablynx
(EURONEXT BRUSSELS: ABLX) and Spirogen Ltd. announce a research
collaboration to evaluate the potential of a novel anti-cancer drug
conjugate combining Spirogen's proprietary cytotoxic drugs,
pyrrolobenzodiazepines (PBD), and associated linker technology, with
Nanobodies(R) generated using Ablynx's proprietary technology
platform. 
Under the terms of the collaboration, Ablynx will provide access to
novel Nanobodies against a specific, undisclosed cancer target and
Spirogen will provide access to its proprietary cytotoxic warheads
(PBDs) and conjugation technologies. Both companies will contribute
their resources towards the collaboration, which is expected to last
for up to a year initially. Following this feasibility phase, Ablynx
will have the option to either in-license Spirogen's technology or,
in collaboration with Spirogen, move development forward with a third
party. No further terms have been disclosed.  
Dr Andreas Menrad, Chief Scientific Officer of Ablynx, said:
 "We are
very pleased to be working with Spirogen to discover and develop
novel cancer therapeutics based on both companies' proprietary
technologies. Our Nanobodies have the potential to selectively and
efficiently deliver Spirogen's PBD drugs to the site of the tumour.
We are very excited about combining our unique and powerful
technology with Spirogen's novel cytotoxic agents to search for
breakthrough opportunities in oncology." 
Dr Chris Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Spirogen, said:
 "The
collaboration with Ablynx is designed to evaluate the potential of a
Nanobody to act as the targeting molecule for the PBD warhead, which
is released once it is inside the cancer cell. These warheads have
the potential to be extremely potent without distorting the DNA helix
thus avoiding mechanisms that lead to tumours becoming resistant to
other anti-cancer drugs." 
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, incl
uding inflammation, haematology,
oncology and pulmonary disease. Today, the Company has approximately
25 programmes in the pipeline and five 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. 
About the Ablynx Nanobody platform
 Nanobodies are antibody-derived
therapeutic proteins that contain the unique structural and
functional properties of naturally-occurring heavy-chain antibodies.
The Nanobody technology was originally developed following the
discovery that camelidae (camels and llamas) possess fully functional
antibodies that lack light chains. These heavy-chain antibodies
contain a single variable domain (VHH) and two constant domains (CH2
and CH3). Importantly, the cloned and isolated VHH domain is a
perfectly stable polypeptide harbouring the full antigen-binding
capacity of the original heavy-chain antibody. These newly discovered
VHH domains with their unique structural and functional properties
form the basis of a new generation of therapeutic antibodies which
Ablynx has named Nanobodies. 
About Spirogen Limited
 Spirogen Limited ("Spirogen") was founded in
2001 as a spin-out from several institutions including University
College, London. It is majority owned by Celtic Therapeutics. It has
developed a novel class of highly potent cytotoxic warheads based on
its proprietary pyrrolobenzodiazepines ("PBD's"), DNA minor groove
binding agents, which bind and cross-link specific sites of DNA of
the cancer cell. This blocks the cancer cells' division without
distorting its DNA helix, thus avoiding the common phenomenon of
emergent drug resistance. In contrast, many cancer chemotherapeutics
distort the structure of DNA resulting in the ability of the cancer
cells to develop resistance to further therapy. Spirogen has been
developing its PBD technology for more than ten years, including a
standalone PBD agent already in an NCI-sponsored Phase II study in
cisplatin resistant ovarian cancer. Its business model is to partner
its technology with pharma and biotech for use in the development of
novel drugs. It has a number of industry collaborations, including
collaborations with Genentech announced in 2011 and with ADC
Therapeutics announced in 2012. For further information, please visit
Spirogen's website, www.spirogen.com. 
About Antibody Drug Conjugates
 ADCs are highly targeted drug
constructs which combine monoclonal antibodies specific to particular
types of tumour cells with potent cytotoxic agents (warheads). The
antibodies bind to specific receptors (antigens) on the surface of
the target cell. Once inside the target cell the cytotoxic agent is
released, killing the cell directly. This minimizes the impact on
normal, healthy tissues and significantly reduces the side effects
associated with chemotherapy treatments. ADCs have extensive
potential therapeutic applications in several disease areas,
particularly in cancer. The principle can also be applied beyond
antibodies, with the possibility of linking warheads to antibody
fragments, peptides, vitamins and hormones. 
press release in pdf: http://hugin.info/137912/R/1680568/549104.pdf 
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  
Spirogen:
Dr Chris Martin
CEO
m: +44 (0) 7788 720572
e: chris.martin@spirogen.com 
College Hill:
Sue Charles, Stefanie Bacher, Gemma Howe, Donia Al-Saffar
t: +44 (0) 20 7866 7860 
e: spirogen@collegehill.com 
 
 
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