GHENT, Belgium, May 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ablynx [Euronext Brussels: ABLX] today announced that it has obtained positive results from two additional Phase I studies, utilising its wholly-owned anti-RSV Nanobody® (ALX-0171) designed for the treatment of Respiratory Syncytial Viral (RSV) infections, following on from the successful Phase I study reported in September 2012. ALX-0171 is Ablynx's first inhaled Nanobody and was administered to adults via a nebulizer in a safety study and in a pharmacokinetic (PK) study.

RSV is a virus which infects the respiratory tract. It is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under one year of age. ALX-0171 is a potential first-in-class therapeutic for RSV, an infection for which there is no widely accepted anti-viral treatment currently available. Ablynx expects to commence a proof-of-concept study in the target paediatric population with ALX-0171 in Q4 2014 with data due in 2015.

The safety study was performed in 24 adults with hyper-reactive airways using single escalating doses of ALX-0171, ranging from 2 to 200 mg, as well as repeated daily inhalation of either 140 or 200 mg of ALX-0171 for 5 days, to determine the occurrence and reversibility of bronchoconstriction(narrowing of the airways in the lungs). Bronchoconstriction may be induced by inhalation therapy and therefore it is important in the evaluation of any such therapy to determine whether bronchoconstriction can be reversed and/or prevented by standard bronchodilators.

The data generated from the safety study demonstrated that administration of the Nanobody was well-tolerated. As expected, some subjects experienced bronchoconstriction but the extent of this was limited (mild) and did not show any clear relationship to dosing. The event could immediately be reversed and subsequently prevented by the use of standard bronchodilators (Beta2-agonists). Guidance can therefore be given in future trials on how to treat bronchoconstriction in the event that it occurs after treatment with ALX-0171.

The PK study was performed in 41 healthy adult volunteers and investigated the concentration of the Nanobody locally (in the bronchial and alveolar space) and/or systemically when administered by oral inhalation or intravenous administration. Direct measurement of ALX-0171 levels in the lung demonstrated very rapid attainment of clinically relevant levels after once-daily administration by inhalation. The lung exposure could be correlated with the systemic exposure and this, together with the desired target concentration and further PK modelling, will allow determination of the dose expected to be effective in infants.

Results from the PK study reconfirmed that ALX-0171 was well tolerated, as reported after the initial first-in-human study, at concentrations in the lung which are well above the levels that will be targeted in the forthcoming paediatric studies.

Commenting on the successful completion of the two studies, Dr Edwin Moses, CEO of Ablynx, said:

"ALX-0171 has been specifically designed to be delivered directly to the site of infection via nebulization in order to achieve fast onset of action and high local concentration levels. ALX-0171 has now been safely administered to more than 100 adults and the data generated in all three Phase I studies support the start of the first-in-infant study later this year. We expect potential proof-of-concept data in infants in 2015. Currently, there is no widely used therapeutic specifically indicated for RSV and generally only supportive therapies are used in the management of this viral infection. The infection seriously affects the very young and other at-risk groups, and results in a significant burden on the healthcare system. We believe that ALX-0171 could potentially become a transformational first-in-class treatment for RSV infections."

About Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

RSV remains the primary reason for infant hospitalisation and virus associated deaths in infants, hence the need for an effective and specific anti-RSV therapeutic drug. It is estimated that there are more than 300,000 children hospitalized each year in the seven major pharmaceutical markets and the reported infection rate is 70-80% in children under two years of age. In addition, RSV infection is a significant cause of pulmonary disease in transplant patients, immune-compromised subjects and the elderly. Current treatment of patients infected with RSV is primarily focussed on symptomatic relief.

About ALX-0171

ALX-0171 is a trivalent, non-half-life extended Nanobody that specifically binds to and neutralises RSV. ALX-0171, designed and wholly owned by Ablynx, has first-in-class potential as there is no widely used therapeutic specifically indicated for RSV treatment. It is the first Nanobody product developed for delivery directly into the lungs by inhalation.

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 30 programmes in the pipeline and seven Nanobodies in clinical development. Ablynx has on-going research collaborations and significant partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies including AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, 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
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: +44 203 709 5700
e: ablynx@consilium-comms.com

pdf format of the press release http://hugin.info/137912/R/1782779/610328.pdf