Ablynx, a Belgium company, pioneering in the discovery and development of Nanobodies(r), a novel class of antibody-derived therapeutic proteins, has extended its drug discovery and development alliance with Novartis for another year.

Ablynx, a pioneer in the discovery and development of Nanobodies(r), a novel class of antibody-derived therapeutic proteins, has extended its drug discovery and development alliance with Novartis for another year. Under the terms of the agreement, entered into in December 2005, the companies are collaborating to discover and develop novel Nanobody(r) based therapeutics against disease targets that are difficult to address with conventional antibodies or their fragments. Novartis has exclusive right to develop and commercialise the Nanobody(r) products resulting from the collaboration.

As part of the collaboration Ablynx  will receive license fees and funding for research and development which is  now extended for a further year.

 Ablynx is developing a portfolio of Nanobody(r)-based therapeutic programmes in a number of major disease areas, including inflammation, thrombosis, oncology and Alzheimer's disease. Nanobodies(r) have been generated against more than 100 different disease targets. Efficacy data has been obtained in 16 in vivo models for Nanobodies(r) against a range of different targets. Ablynx has an extensive patent position in the field of Nanobodies(r) for healthcare applications. It has exclusive and worldwide rights to more than fifty families of granted patents and pending patent applications, including the Hamers patents covering the basic structure, composition, preparation and uses of Nanobodies(r).

Ablynx has ongoing research collaborations and significant partnerships with several major pharmaceutical companies, including Boehringer Ingelheim, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, and P&G Pharma. Ablynx is building a diverse and broad portfolio of therapeutic Nanobodies(r) through these collaborations as well as through its own internal discovery programmes. Ablynx announced interim Phase I data from its first programme, an anti-thrombotic (ALX-0081) in July 2007 and another programme, which is partnered, is in advanced preclinical development.