GHENT, Belgium, June 19, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ablynx [Euronext Brussels: ABLX] today announced that it will present pre-clinical proof-of-concept data on its proprietary anti-Kv1.3 Nanobody® at two upcoming leading ion channel meetings. The four presentations will take place at the "Collaborations in Ion Channel Drug Discovery" meeting being held in Cambridge, UK from 19 to 20 June, 2014 and at the "12th Annual Ion Channel Retreat" being held in Vancouver, Canada from 25 to 27 June, 2014.

The oral presentation and 3 poster presentations will include results demonstrating:

  • The ability to develop Nanobodies with sub-nanomolar potency on the Kv1.3 ion channel (Potassium voltage-gated channel which is expressed in T and B lymphocytes) and greater than 1,000-fold specificity over other related Kv ion channel family members
  • Formatting of Nanobodies into multimeric constructs allows for improved potency, duration of action and drug half-life
  • Potent channel inhibition using electrophysiological assays and in vitro functional human primary T cell assays
  • Nanobodies with different modes of action in electrophysiology assays can be combined to yield new phenotypic profiles
  • In vivo proof-of-concept with anti-Kv1.3 Nanobodies in a rat delayed-type hypersensitivity inflammation model

Shortly after the presentations, the presentation and the posters will be available on Ablynx's corporate website (via this link). The titles for the presentations are as follows:

1. "Nanobodies against difficult targets: Tackling ion channels" (Oral Presentation; Thursday, 19 June)

2. "Development of highly potent and selective anti-Kv1.3 Nanobodies that operate through allosteric modulation" (Poster Presentation; Thursday, 19 June)

3. "Characterization of anti-Kv1.3 Nanobodies and activity in inflammatory model systems" (Poster Presentation; Tuesday, 25 June)

4. "Formatting flexibility of Nanobodies is ideally suited for ion channels: Kv1.3 case study" (Poster Presentation; Tuesday, 25 June)

Further details on the meetings can be found at: http://cha-meetings.com/collaborations-in-ion-channel-drug-discovery and http://www.aurorabiomed.com/ion-channel-retreat-2014

Dr Tony De Fougerolles, CSO of Ablynx, said:

"We are delighted with the potency and exquisite specificity we have demonstrated with our anti-Kv1.3 Nanobodies, something that has historically been difficult to achieve with other drug modalities such as small molecules and peptide-based toxins. The Kv1.3 ion channel represents an important target in inflammatory disease as it helps control ion influx required for activation of T lymphocytes, and we are encouraged by demonstration of in vivo proof-of-concept for these Nanobodies in a rat inflammatory model. Our in-house work with Kv1.3 builds on our previous success with ion channels, such as P2X7, and is one of several ion channel programmes Ablynx is actively pursuing both internally and with partners such as Merck."

About Ablynx' expertise in ion channels

Ablynx has already demonstrated modulation of ion channel activity in electrophysiology assays and has identified functional Nanobodies against both voltage-gated and ligand-gated ion channels. Nanobodies can be generated to have either an agonistic (enhancing) or antagonistic (blocking) effect.

About ion channels

The physiological importance of ion channels is underlined by their involvement in a wide range of conditions including neurological disorders, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and arrhythmia. Ion channels represent highly valuable therapeutic targets which are currently modulated by a range of small molecule drugs. In 2011, sales of the top 20 best-selling ion channel drugs amounted to nearly $14 billion.[1] Today, there are no approved antibody-based drugs that target ion channels.

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 more than 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

[1] MedTrack

pdf format of the press release http://hugin.info/137912/R/1795577/618081.pdf