Ablynx – highs and lows
Ghent – Just days after US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer pulled out of a rheumatoid arthritis pact with Ablynx NV, the Belgian biopharmaceutical company expanded its relationship with Merck Serono. Ablynx has now entered into a third agreement to discover and develop single-domain antibodies (‘Nanobodies’) together with the pharma giant against two targets in osteoarthritis. Under the terms of the deal, Ablynx will receive an upfront payment of €20m.”Merck Serono is one of our most valued partners, and the innovative and creative deal structure that we have put in place represents a win-win situation for both parties,” said Ablynx CEO Edwin Moses. Merck is buying an all-inclusive package. Ablynx will be fully responsible for all activities and costs for each programme, excluding manufacturing, up to the delivery of the pre-clinical package that will form the basis of an Investigational New Drug filing or the equivalent. If Merck likes what it sees, Ablynx will receive a further €15m for each programme.