Ablynx to work with Novo Nordisk on nanobody drug discovery

Will receive a €5m upfront payment, research funding and potential future milestones and royalties on net sales

Ablynx has entered into a global exclusive collaboration and licensing agreement with Danish pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk to discover and develop multi-specific nanobody drug candidates for use in an undisclosed disease area.

The Belgian biopharmaceutical company also has an option to expand the agreement to include a second nanobody programme.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ablynx will receive an upfront licence fee of €5m and up to €4m in research funding during the initial three-year research of the collaboration.

If Novo Nordisk decides to pursue the second programme, the company will pay Ablynx an exercise fee of €4m. Ablynx is also eligible to receive potential development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to €182m for each programme, as well as tiered royalties on the annual net sales on any products resulting from the collaboration. Novo Nordisk will be responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialisation of any products resulting from this agreement.

Dr Edwin Moses, CEO of Ablynx, said: 'Our proprietary nanobody technology platform is ideally suited to develop multi-specific nanobody candidates that address multiple targets in a single drug molecule, applicable across a wide range of diseases. Today's agreement with Novo Nordisk is another endorsement of the power, broad applicability and versatility of our technology.'

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