Ablynx Expands Pact with Chinese Specialty Pharm Company EddingpharmBy
Ablynx, Ghent, Belgium-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has expanded its relationship with Eddingpharm, a Chinese specialty pharmaceutical company, by granting Eddingpharm an exclusive, royalty-bearing license to develop and commercialize Ablynx's anti-TNFÎ± Nanobody, ozoralizumab (ATN-103), in the mainland of the People's Republic of China, the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions, and Taiwan for all indications, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Ozoralizumab is a TNFÎ± blocker with clinical proof-of-concept in RA. The molecule consists of two Nanobodies targeting TNFÎ±, which are linked to a Nanobody that binds to human serum albumin, extending the drug's half-life in vivo and improving its distribution to inflamed joints. Nanobodies are Ablynx’s proprietary therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments that Ablynx is developing for a range of diseases, including inflammation, hematology, oncology, and pulmonary disease.
Under the agreement, Eddingpharm will be responsible for the clinical development, registration, and commercialization in Greater China of anti-TNFÎ± Nanobody therapeutics. Ablynx will have access to the clinical data generated by Eddingpharm to support potential licensing discussions in other geographic regions. Ablynx will receive an upfront payment of EUR 2 million ($2.6 million), payable in two tranches, and is entitled to receive development and commercial milestone payments plus tiered, double-digit royalties of up to 20%, based on annual net sales of ozoralizumab generated by Eddingpharm in Greater China.
Clinical development of ozoralizumab was funded by Pfizer prior to Ablynx regaining the worldwide rights to develop and commercialize anti-TNFÎ± Nanobodies in November 2011. Ablynx has ongoing research collaborations and partneships with major pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eddingpharm, Merck & Co., Merck KGaA, and Novartis.