Ablynx, Genzyme Partner in Antibody FragmentsBy
Ablynx, a Ghent, Belgium-based biopharmaceutical company has formed a research pact with Genzyme, a Sanofi company, to investigate Nanobodies against a target that plays an important role in multiple sclerosis (MS) and specifically aligns with Genzyme's early-stage MS research programs involving neuroprotection and central nervous system (CNS) repair. Nanobodies are Ablynxy’s proprietary therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments, which seek to combine the advantages of conventional antibody drugs with some of the features of small-molecule drugs.
Under the agreement, Genzyme will have the right to perform in vitro and in vivo research with Ablynx's Nanobodies in MS-relevant models in return for an exclusivity fee. Upon completion of these studies, Genzyme will have the option to negotiate a license agreement. Ablynx has already generated potent Nanobodies against the specific target of interest and confirmed their activity in preclinical models. The neurodegeneration observed in MS is not directly targeted by existing treatments. Genzyme's research efforts aim to address this unmet need by targeting the underlying causes of MS disease progression and by developing treatments to protect neurons and promote repair of CNS damage.
Ablynx has more than 30 proprietary and partnered programs in development in various therapeutic areas, including inflammation, hematology, oncology, and respiratory disease. In addition to Genzyme, the company has collaborations with AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eddingpharm, Genzyme, Merck & Co, Inc., Merck Serono, and Novartis.