Nanobodies® – creating better medicines
Ablynx (Euronext Brussels: ABLX) is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of Nanobodies®, a novel class of antibody-derived therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments, for the treatment of a range of serious diseases including inflammation, haematology, oncology and pulmonology. The Company has a solid financial position, a broad product pipeline, key pharma partnerships and a strong intellectual property base.
Nanobody technology – proven single variable domain approach
Nanobodies are a novel class of antibody-derived therapeutic proteins that contain the unique structural and functional properties of naturally occurring heavy-chain only antibodies via a single domain antibody fragment. The Nanobody technology was originally developed following the discovery that Camelidae (e.g. camels and llama’s) possess fully functional antibodies that only have heavy chains and therefore lack light chains. These heavy-chain only antibodies contain a single variable domain and two constant domains. Importantly, the cloned and isolated single variable domain has full antigen binding capacity and is very stable. These single variable domains, with their unique structural and functional properties, form the basis of a new generation of therapeutic molecules which Ablynx has named Nanobodies.
Nanobodies’ uniqueness and competitive advantages can be summarised as follows:
• Broad target applicability, including challenging targets such as GPCRs and ion channels
• Flexible formatting: multivalent, multi-specific, bi-paratopic Nanobodies in clinical development
• Half-life engineering technology to achieve desired properties (acute vs chronic diseases)
• Robustness allows for alternative delivery such as inhalation
• Excellent manufacturing (in yeast and bacteria), high concentration formulations and low viscosity (excellent syringeability)
Product pipeline – multiple shots on goal
Ablynx’s strategy is to maximise the use of the Company’s unique Nanobody technology in therapeutic areas and diseases where Nanobodies offer a clear promotable advantage over existing products and technologies. In total, there are more than 30 programmes in the pipeline in a combination of partnered, co-owned and wholly-owned structures, which represent a balanced risk portfolio.
Partnerships – broad platform exploitation and cash generation
Ablynx has on-going research collaborations and significant partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies including AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eddingpharm, Merck & Co, Merck Serono and Novartis that have generated >€320 million in non-dilutive cash to the Company.
Intellectual property – patents and know how
Ablynx has a strong and broad patent portfolio of 550 patent applications and granted patents covering various aspects of the discovery, generation, optimisation, formatting, manufacture, administration, formulation and clinical use of Nanobodies, as well as covering its clinical development programmes and product candidates. This, combined with the extensive experience and expertise that Ablynx has established as the first company to discover and develop Nanobodies and to achieve clinical proof-of-concept for multiple clinical programmes, puts Ablynx in a unique position to exploit the Nanobody platform in the field of therapy and diagnosis.