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Ablynx is awarded eur 1.9 million grant to explore new therapeutic uses of nanobodies

GHENT, Belgium, 25 September, 2007 - Ablynx the biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of Nanobodies®, today announced that it has been awarded a grant worth EUR 1.855M by the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT).

The grant allows Ablynx to accelerate the speed of exploring a number of new therapeutic Nanobody® applications, in which their unique properties would be exploited. These properties include their exceptional stability allowing pulmonary delivery, small size and exceptional format flexibility and ability to access targets, so far inaccessible to conventional antibodies, with the potential to provide a highly efficient virus neutralization capability. Importantly, this grant will enable Ablynx to expand its dominant intellectual property portfolio.

Research under the grant will be conducted in collaboration with leading research groups, including teams at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, led by Professor Verrips, and with a wide network of academic collaborators in Belgium (VIB, VUB and KUL), Norway, Germany, the UK, Spain and France.

“We are extremely pleased to tap into world class biological and disease expertise to exploit new applications for Nanobodies®” said Dr Hans de Haard, Senior Director Discovery Research at Ablynx. “This research will build on the data from a concurrent programme in which Nanobodies® have been produced against a wide variety of targets grouped into target families according to structural homology or biological links. The target families addressed include extracellular targets such as transmembrane proteins and receptors, enzymes, serum proteins and soluble signaling factors.”

Dr Hennie Hoogenboom, Chief Scientific Officer at Ablynx commented: “IWT’s continued support of Ablynx’s Nanobody® technology platform is very encouraging. We believe the grant will allow us to explore a number of innovative therapeutic Nanobody® applications and will help to maintain the groundbreaking progress we are making, accelerating the exploitation of Nanobodies® across multiple target classes, whilst continuing to ensure our IP is protected from ever increasing competition.”


About Ablynx –

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 began operations in 2001 in Ghent, Belgium and currently employs over 100 employees.

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. Already Ablynx has generated Nanobodies® against more than 100 different disease targets. In vivo efficacy data has been obtained in 16 in vivo models for Nanobodies® against a range of different targets.

Ablynx has established a broad patent estate around its Nanobody® technology platform. It has filed many patent applications describing further aspects of the Nanobody® technology and its therapeutic applications. Ablynx has in-licensed intellectual property describing Nanobody® libraries, their immobilization and use. It also developed and patented a proprietary procedure for discovering and generating Nanobodies®: the Nanoclone® technology.

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® 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 this year and another programme is in advanced preclinical development.


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