GHENT, Belgium – Ablynx [Euronext Brussels: ABLX], announced today that it has been awarded a grant worth €1.2 million by the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT).
The grant supports Ablynx in accelerating the development of its Nanobody-based programme, ALX-0061, into clinical development for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
ALX-0061 binds to the IL-6 receptor (IL-6R). It has a high potency and demonstrated a favourable pharmacodynamic (PD), pharmacokinetic (PK) and safety profile in pre-clinical testing compared with the benchmark molecule. ALX-0061 has no Fc-mediated effector function which may translate into an improved safety profile. Due to its monovalent binding to the target, it also does not have the potential to crosslink the IL-6R target which may have some benefits compared with monoclonal antibody approaches.
Edwin Moses, CEO and Chairman of Ablynx, said:
“ALX-0061 is a key programme in the Ablynx portfolio and Ablynx is on track to file an IND equivalent in Europe before the end of this year. We are delighted with IWT’s continued support of the Nanobody platform and very pleased we will also receive support for our preclinical and clinical activities related to ALX-0061. This grant is a valuable contribution to the ALX-0061 programme, which we are advancing towards clinical development. There are already four Nanobodies in the clinic, with our lead programme, ALX-0081, a novel anti-thrombotic, in Phase II since September 2009.”