Wyeth Pharmaceuticals has announced they have entered into collaboration with Ablynx in a deal, which aims to commercialise a class of antibody-derived therapeutic proteins targeting diseases that include oncology and Alzheimer's disease.
The agreement represents Wyeth's second contract in quick succession having agreed terms to a $64.5m (€50.5m) deal to gain non-exclusive access to a novel injectable drug delivery technology for DNA vaccines belonging to Inovio Biomedical.
Under the terms of this agreement, Ablynx is set to receive an initial payment, research support and milestone payments.
Potential payments to Ablynx could total up to $212.5m for the successful development and commercialisation of multiple products. In addition Ablynx will receive royalties on product sales.
"We are delighted to have established this strategic collaboration," said Edwin Moses, Chief Executive Officer of Ablynx.
"Wyeth has a proven track record in the discovery, development, manufacturing and commercialisation of novel biopharmaceuticals with demonstrated success with Enbrelâ."
Nanobody-based therapeutics are small-molecule drugs derived from naturally-occurring heavy-chain antibodies and therefore have good stability and offer the advantage of being able to be administered in a variety of ways such as by injection, orally, in sprays or creams.
According to Ablynx, because of their unique structure, the use of nanobodies can also address therapeutic opportunities that are beyond the reach of conventional antibodies or their fragments, including targeting epitopes such as receptor clefts, enzyme active sites and viral canyon sites.
In addition, nanobodies are manufactured in micro-organisms which also presents a significant cost advantage in comparison to production methods for conventional antibodies, the firm said.
"Wyeth is enthusiastic about this new partnership with Ablynx. Ablynx is a company that has established the feasibility of their novel Nanobody platform by generating Nanobodies to more than twenty different targets," said Dr. Frank Walsh, Executive Vice President, Head of Discovery Research, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.
"We look forward to a productive and long lasting partnership with Ablynx."