Chinese speciality pharma company to develop and commercialise anti-TNFa nanobody in Greater China
Ablynx has expanded its relationship with Eddingpharm, a leading Chinese speciality pharmaceutical company, by granting Eddingpharm an exclusive, royalty-bearing licence to develop and commercialise Ablynx's anti-TNFa Nanobody, ozoralizumab (ATN-103), in the mainland of the People's Republic of China, the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions and Taiwan, for all indications, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Under the terms of the agreement, Eddingpharm will be responsible for the clinical development, registration and commercialisation in Greater China of anti-TNFa Nanobody therapeutics. Ablynx will have access to the clinical data generated by Eddingpharm to support potential licensing discussions in other geographic regions.
Ablynx will receive an upfront payment of €2m, payable in two tranches, and is entitled to receive development and commercial milestone payments plus tiered, double-digit royalties of up to 20%, based on annual net sales of ozoralizumab generated by Eddingpharm in Greater China.
Ozoralizumab is a next-generation TNFa blocker with clinical proof-of-concept in RA. The molecule consists of two Nanobodies targeting TNFa, which are linked to a Nanobody that binds to human serum albumin, extending the drug's half-life in vivo and improving its distribution to inflamed joints. Clinical development of ozoralizumab was funded by Pfizer prior to Ablynx regaining the worldwide rights to develop and commercialise anti-TNFa Nanobodies in November 2011.
'We are pleased to have expanded our relationship with Eddingpharm beyond the license agreement that we signed in 2013 for our anti-RANKL Nanobody, ALX-0141, for the treatment of bone-related disorders,' said Dr Edwin Moses, CEO of Ablynx. 'China is a huge and developing market, and we believe that Eddingpharm is well-positioned to further develop and commercialise ozoralizumab in Greater China based on their deep knowledge of the local market, clinical development expertise and our Nanobody's potential in the treatment of inflammatory diseases, including RA.'
Eddingpharm focuses on the development and promotion of pharmaceutical products in four therapeutic areas: clinical nutrition, oncology, antibiotics and respiratory system. It has established long-term co-operative relationships with a number of multinational pharmaceutical companies and has built up a competitive product portfolio and pipeline.
The company recently established its US affiliate and set up a product development team with R&D capabilities in Los Angeles, CA, US, to co-ordinate and communicate with leading global R&D institutions and explore opportunities for introducing innovative pharmaceutical products in China.
'This partnership represents another strategic achievement for our company in our goal to become a fully-integrated pharmaceutical company and demonstrates that Eddingpharm is the partner of choice in China for biotechnology companies around the world,' said Ni Xin, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Eddingpharm. 'Together with Ablynx, we are committed to bringing this second innovative Nanobody-based medicine to millions of patients in the region.'