Ablynx receives milestone payments from Boehringer Ingelheim and Wyeth

HENT, Belgium - Ablynx [Euronext Brussels: ABLX], today announced that it will receive milestone payments totalling €3 million from Boehringer Ingelheim triggered as part of its strategic alliance for the development and commercialisation of Nanobodies®. This is the second time Ablynx receives milestone payments from Boehringer Ingelheim since the initiation of the strategic alliance between the companies.

Earlier this week, on 30 September 2009, Ablynx announced that it has reached a second milestone under the terms of its collaboration with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth. A milestone payment of $4 million has been triggered by the initiation by Wyeth of a first Phase II multiple dose study in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for a Nanobody® targeting tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha).

STRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM

Ablynx and Boehringer Ingelheim entered into an agreement in September 2007 to collaborate on the discovery, development and commercialisation of up to 10 different Nanobody® therapeutics across a range of multiple therapeutic areas including for example immunology, oncology and respiratory diseases. The agreement would allow potential milestone payments of up to €125 million for each Nanobody® developed as well as undisclosed royalties to Ablynx. Boehringer Ingelheim is exclusively responsible for the development, manufacture and commercialisation of any products resulting from the collaboration. Ablynx retains certain co-promotion rights in Europe.

TNF-alpha NANOBODY® COLLABORATION WITH WYETH PHARMACEUTICALS 

Ablynx entered into an exclusive research collaboration and license agreement with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in November 2006, a deal potentially worth $212.5 million for the successful development and commercialisation of multiple products. In addition, Ablynx is eligible to receive royalties on product sales. Wyeth has exclusive rights to develop and commercialise anti-TNF-alpha Nanobodies® developed under the collaboration. TNF-alpha is a key drug target in combating inflammation related disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Wyeth entered into a Phase I study in healthy volunteers in December 2008 in the USA and Japan. Based on a successful conclusion of that study, where the Nanobody® was safe and well tolerated, Wyeth has today initiated a multiple dose Phase II study in RA patients. 

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

About Ablynx (www.ablynx.com)

Founded in 2001 in Ghent, Belgium, Ablynx is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of Nanobodies®, a novel class of therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments, for a range of serious and life-threatening human diseases. The Company currently has over 210 employees. Ablynx completed a successful IPO on Euronext Brussels [ABLX] on 7 November 2007.

Ablynx is developing a portfolio of Nanobody®-based therapeutic programmes in a number of major disease areas, including inflammation, thrombosis, oncology and Alzheimer’s disease. Nanobodies® have been generated against more than 150 different disease targets. Importantly the Nanobodies® which naturally exist in llamas have a very high homology with humans. Efficacy data has been obtained in over 25 in vivo models for Nanobodies® against a range of different targets.

Ablynx has an extensive patent position in the field of Nanobodies® for healthcare applications. It has exclusive and worldwide rights to more than 50 families of granted patents and pending patent applications, including the Hamers patents covering the basic structure, composition, preparation and uses of Nanobodies®.

Ablynx has ongoing research collaborations and significant partnerships with several major pharmaceutical companies, including Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck Serono, Novartis and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Ablynx is building a diverse and broad portfolio of therapeutic Nanobodies® through these collaborations as well as through its own internal discovery programmes. The Company’s lead programme, ALX-0081, an intravenously administered novel anti-thrombotic has reached its primary endpoint in a multi-dose Phase Ib study in patients undergoing PCI and is on track to initiate Phase II during the third quarter of 2009. ALX-0681, also an anti-thrombotic but with a subcutaneous route of administration is currently in Phase I in healthy volunteers. Ablynx has progressed ALX-0141, an anti-RANKL Nanobody® for bone disorders into preclinical development and aims to initiate a Phase I study before the end of 2009. In addition, Ablynx’s partner Wyeth Pharmaceuticals is currently in Phase I study with an anti-TNF-alpha Nanobody®.

Nanobody® is a registered trademark of Ablynx NV.

About Gilde Healthcare Partners (www.gildehealthcare.nl)

Gilde Healthcare Partners founded in 2000 is headquartered in Utrecht, the Netherlands with representatives in London and Madrid. Gilde Healthcare Partners has over EUR 300 million under management and is actively looking to lead new investments in therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices, enabling technologies and healthcare services. Gilde is a successful builder of healthcare businesses across Europe. By investing in companies with clear achievable business models, Gilde has used its financial resources and network to create significant value for both its investors and the entrepreneurs it backs.

Companies that Gilde Healthcare Partners has pro-actively supported span all aspects of healthcare and include Ablynx (Belgium), Acacia (UK), Agendia (Netherlands), AMT (Netherlands), Ascendis (Denmark), BG Medicine (US), Chroma Therapeutics (UK), Conatus (US), Flowcardia (US), Glycart (Switzerland), Innate Pharma (France), Pieris (Germany), Profibrix, Santaris (Denmark) and Symphogen (Denmark).