GHENT, Belgium, Oct. 31, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ablynx [Euronext Brussels:ABLX] today announced that it has received notice of a €1.68 million in grant funding from the Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT) to help advance the Company's first inhaled Nanobody®, ALX-0171, in infants. The grant funding, which is available over a period of one year, will also be used to explore novel applications of nebulised Nanobodies.

A first Phase I study in healthy volunteers demonstrated that the Nanobody was well-tolerated and had no clinical significant effects on lung function. Furthermore, no dose-limited toxicity, no treatment emergent immunogenicity and no bronchoconstriction occurred. The optimal delivery of the Nanobody through nebulisation has been demonstrated in a reconstructed upper airway anatomical model of a 9-month old baby, showing significant deposition of ALX-0171 in the model infant lung.

An additional pre-clinical study and two additional safety studies are currently-on-going with the goal to commence the first-in-infant trial during H2 2014.

Dr Edwin Moses, Chairman and CEO of Ablynx commented:

"This grant is a clear endorsement of our pioneering approach in treating RSV infections in infants. ALX-0171 has the potential to address a high unmet medical need and could become a transformational anti-RSV treatment. The funding shows the commitment of IWT to continue to support innovations in Belgium."

About ALX-0171 and RSV

ALX-0171 is a trivalent Nanobody that neutralises viral replication in the respiratory tract. Its physical robustness allows fast delivery directly into the lungs, i.e. the site of infection, through nebulisation.

RSV is a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and respiratory tract and is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under one year of age. It is the leading cause of infant hospitalization and foremost viral cause of death in infants. It is estimated that there are more than 300,000 child hospitalisations per year in the seven major markets and the reported infection rate is 70-80% in children under two years of age. Current treatment of patients infected with RSV is mostly symptomatic so there remains a high need for an effective and specific anti-RSV therapeutic drug.

About Ablynx

Ablynx is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of Nanobodies®, a novel class of therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments, for a range of serious human diseases, including inflammation, haematology, oncology and pulmonary disease. Today, the Company has approximately 25 programmes in the pipeline and seven Nanobodies at clinical development stage. Ablynx has on-going research collaborations and significant partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies including AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eddingpharm, Merck & Co, Merck Serono and Novartis. The Company is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium. More information can be found on www.ablynx.com.

For more information, please contact
Dr Edwin Moses
Chairman and CEO
t: +32 (0)9 262 00 07
m: +44 (0)7771 954 193 /
+32 (0)473 39 50 68
e: edwin.moses@ablynx.com
Marieke Vermeersch
Associate Director Investor Relations
t: +32 (0)9 262 00 82
m: +32 (0)479 49 06 03
e: marieke.vermeersch@ablynx.com
Follow us on Twitter @AblynxABLX
Ablynx media relations Consilium Strategic Communications:
Mary-Jane Elliott, Amber Bielecka, Lindsey Neville
t: +44 207 920 2345
e: ablynx@consilium-comms.com

Press release in pdf format: http://hugin.info/137912/R/1739374/583739.pdf