04.10.2012 - Belgian Ablynx secures €8.5m upfront from Merck Inc. for the development of Nanobodies against two targets, one of them yet unknown.
Camelidae antibody developer Ablynx NV (Ghent) has inked a collaboration with US pharma major Merck & Co. Inc (MSD). The companies collaborate primarily to develop and commercialise Nanobody® candidates directed towards a certain voltage-gated ion channel. Merck also acquired the option to do the same for a second, as yet unknown, target. The deal includes a €6.5m upfront payment and another €2m compensation for research funding. With successfully passed regulatory and commercial milestones in addition to secured royalties, Ablynx will be eligible to receive up to €448 million in total. While Ablynx is in charge of the discovery of the Nanobodies, Merck gains the exclusive global rights to market them and is responsible for research, development, manufacturing and commercialisation of any Nanobody® product resulting from the collaboration.
After Ablynx showed the proof-of-principle in 2011, things are going well for the company despite the withdrawal of US pharma giant Pfizer almost a year ago. Edwin Moses, Chairman and CEO of Ablynx commented on the new deal: "We are delighted to initiate this collaboration with Merck in the area of ion channels, where to date, monoclonal antibodies have demonstrated little success. Due to the formatting flexibility of Nanobodies, we are able to combine antibody-like selectivity and multi-specificity in one molecule, making them ideal candidates for ion channel modulators." Nanobodies® are a novel class of therapeutic proteins based on single-domain, heavy-chain antibody fragments. They link conventional monoclonal antibody advantages like high specificity with the benefits of small molecule drugs like low sensitivity to temperature and pH changes. So far, Ablynx has approximately 25 programmes in the pipeline, and seven Nanobodies at clinical development stage, including partnerships with pharma and biotech companies like Boehringer Ingelheim (cancer, Alzheimer’s), former Merck Serono (osteoarthritis), Novartis, and Merck & Co.
19.11.2014 It’s not every day that a company is pushed into the top ten of its sector, but that day has come for Actavis. Christmas came early for the new pharma giant after completing a US$66bn (€53bn) takeover battle for the Botox manufacturer Allergan.
18.11.2014 Merck KGaA and US rival Pfizer have signed a immuno-oncology alliance worth billions: Merck will share the development and commercialisation of its cancer antibody with its US partner – for €2.3bn.
14.11.2014 Cosily coinciding with World Diabetes Day on 14th November, French biopharma Les Laboratories Servier has struck a US$1bn deal with US pharma Intarcia Therapeutics for the exclusive rights to Intarcia’s unprecedented therapy for type 2 diabetes.
12.11.2014 Glitz and glamour are not words often used to describe science and mathematics. But once a year, celebrities from the science and showbiz world come together at the Breakthough Prizes, a glitzy television bash that honours scientists for their achievements. French life scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier was among this year’s winners.
04.11.2014 Galecto Biotech has entered an agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb for the acquisition of the company and its lead drug, providing the Swedish company with the potential of reaching over US$400m.