Ablynx partners with Sanofi to develop treatments for inflammatory diseases

By Catherine Sturman
Ablynx has announced that it has entered a research partnership and licensing agreement with French pharmaceutical company Sanofi to develop Nanobody-ba...

Ablynx has announced that it has entered a research partnership and licensing agreement with French pharmaceutical company Sanofi to develop Nanobody-based therapeutics for the treatment of various immune mediated inflammatory diseases. To date, Ablynx has over 45 programmes in the development of treatments within inflammation, haematology, immuno-oncology, oncology and respiratory diseases.

The partnership gives Sanofi access to certain Nanobodies in the biopharmaceutical company’s existing portfolio, as well its scientists and proprietary Nanobody platform. The company was the first to develop a vaccine for the dengue virus, Dengvaxia, and has strenuously worked to provide vaccination campaigns worldwide.

Through this new partnership, partnership, Sanofi will also gain exclusive global rights to certain multi-specific Nanobodies against selected targets, with options for similar rights to additional targets, for a total of eight potential Nanobody product candidates.

“This collaboration is the latest example of Sanofi’s strategic commitment to expand our drug discovery pipeline in immunology at a time when we are launching new treatments for atopic dermatitis and rheumatoid arthritis,” commented Frank Nestle, MD, Sanofi’s Global Head of Immunology Therapeutic Research Area and Chief Scientific Officer, North America.

“We are particularly excited by the Ablynx technology as a leading biologics platform, enabling the development of transformative multi-targeting treatment approaches.”

The financial terms include an upfront payment of €23 million to Ablynx, comprised of license and option fees. Ablynx will receive approximately €8 million research funding for the initially selected targets. Sanofi will also pay Ablynx further option exercise fees and research funding.

Sanofi will be responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialisation of any products resulting from this agreement, and Ablynx will be eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to €2.4 billion, plus tiered royalties up to low double digits on the net sales of any products originating from the collaboration.


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