Under terms of the partnership, P&GP will provide Ablynx with research and development funding, pre-determined milestone payments, and royalties upon commercialisation.
Ablynx will be responsible for discovering Nanobodies that meet a pre-defined product profile. P&GP will assume responsibility for the pre-clinical and clinical development of lead Nanobodies, as well as the commercialisation of any resulting drug products.
Simon Kerry, Director of Business Development at Ablynx told DrugResearcher.com: "Our technology was unique in the sense that it has a structure that can bind into enzyme active sites and receptor clefts, expanding the range of disease targets that can be addressed."
"The partnership was formed between ourselves and P&GP because they had a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) target that we felt our Nanobody technology was suitable for."
Nanobodies are a novel class of therapeutics that combines the advantages of conventional antibodies with key features of small-molecule drugs. Nanobodies can address therapeutic targets not easily recognized by conventional antibodies, including active sites of enzymes and receptors, such as GPCRs. Nanobodies can also be produced cost-effectively at large-scale, has a long shelf-life, and can be administered through non-injectable means.
Since commencing operations in 2002, Ablynx has generated Nanobody pre-clinical programs in the areas of inflammation and thrombosis and several discovery programs in the areas of oncology and CNS.
Kerry added that: "At the moment the Nanobodies are in preclinical development to treat rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and thrombosis. Human trials are expected to commence in the first half of 2006."