Ablynx Nanobody product reaches pre-clinical stage

Published: 26-Mar-2010

First Nanobody pre-clinical development candidate to be delivered through route other than injection

Ablynx’s ALX-0171, a new Nanobody-based therapeutic programme, has advanced into pre-clinical development for the treatment of respiratory synctial virus (RSV) infections.

ALX-0171 binds to RSV and neutralises the virus. The Nanobody will be administered via the lungs and based on the in vivo data it has the potential to be effective both in the prevention of infection as well as in treatment once infection has occurred.

This is Ablynx’s first Nanobody pre-clinical development candidate to be delivered through a route other than injection. Like many Nanobodies, ALX-0171 is very stable with a low propensity to aggregate, making it suitable for inhalation. It can also be manufactured at relatively low cost in microbial systems.

‘Ablynx’s anti-RSV Nanobody potentially has a clearly differentiated product profile compared with other options currently available for RSV,’ said Dr Edwin Moses, ceo and chairman of Ablynx. ‘We expect to conveniently deliver ALX-0171 via the lungs directly to the site of potential disease to provide prophylactic protection, as well as therapeutic treatment, which we don’t believe can be offered for this infectious agent by any other marketed drugs today.

‘We also believe ALX-0171 will have a significantly lower cost of goods compared with other biologics currently used in this indication.’

Belgian biotech company Ablynx is developing a portfolio of Nanobody-based therapeutics in a number of major disease areas, including inflammation, thrombosis, oncology and Alzheimer’s disease. Ablynx now has more than 25 programmes in its therapeutic pipeline including four Nanobodies in clinical development.

So far, Nanobodies have been successfully generated against more than 190 different protein targets including several complex targets such as chemokines, GPCRs, ion channels and viruses, which are typically very difficult to address with conventional monoclonal antibodies. Efficacy data have been obtained in 28 in vivo models for Nanobodies against a range of different targets.

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