GHENT, Belgium, May 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ablynx [Euronext Brussels: ABLX; OTC: ABYLY] today announced that it has entered into an exclusive research collaboration with Genzyme, a Sanofi company, to investigate Nanobodies® against a target that plays an important role in multiple sclerosis (MS) and specifically aligns with Genzyme's early-stage MS research programs involving neuroprotection and CNS repair.
The neurodegeneration observed in MS is not directly targeted by existing treatments. Genzyme's research efforts aim to address this unmet need by targeting the underlying causes of MS disease progression and by developing treatments to protect neurons and promote repair of CNS damage.
Under the terms of the agreement, Genzyme will have the right to perform in vitro and in vivo research with Ablynx's Nanobodies in MS-relevant models in return for an exclusivity fee. Upon completion of these studies, Genzyme will have the option to negotiate a license agreement. Ablynx has already generated potent Nanobodies against the specific target of interest and confirmed their activity in pre-clinical models.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr Edwin Moses, CEO of Ablynx, said:
"As a leading biotech company, Genzyme is an ideal partner to demonstrate the potential value of Ablynx's versatile Nanobody technology platform in MS. The formatting flexibility of Nanobodies makes them promising candidates for combining antibody-like selectivity and multi-specificity in a single molecule. We are looking forward to working for the first time with Genzyme."
Johanne Kaplan, VP, Neuroimmunology Research, Genzyme, said:
"We look forward to collaborating with Ablynx to evaluate the potential of Nanobodies against this CNS target, as this project supports our research that includes the exploration of novel therapeutic platforms to address unmet needs in multiple sclerosis."
Ablynx is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of Nanobodies®, proprietary therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments, which combine the advantages of conventional antibody drugs with some of the features of small-molecule drugs. Ablynx is dedicated to creating new medicines which will make a real difference to society. Today, the Company has more than 30 proprietary and partnered programmes in development in various therapeutic areas including inflammation, haematology, oncology and respiratory disease. The Company has collaborations with multiple pharmaceutical companies including AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eddingpharm, Genzyme, Merck & Co, Inc., Merck Serono and Novartis. The Company is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium. More information can be found on www.ablynx.com.
About Genzyme, a Sanofi Company
Genzyme has pioneered the development and delivery of transformative therapies for patients affected by rare and debilitating diseases for over 30 years. We accomplish our goals through world-class research and with the compassion and commitment of our employees. With a focus on rare diseases and multiple sclerosis, we are dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of the patients and families we serve. That goal guides and inspires us every day. Genzyme's portfolio of transformative therapies, which are marketed in countries around the world, represents groundbreaking and life-saving advances in medicine. As a Sanofi company, Genzyme benefits from the reach and resources of one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, with a shared commitment to improving the lives of patients. Learn more at www.genzyme.com.
Genzyme® is a registered trademark of Genzyme Corporation. All rights reserved.
For more information, please contact Ablynx:
Dr Edwin Moses
t: +32 (0)9 262 00 07
m: +32 (0)473 39 50 68
Associate Director Investor Relations
t: +32 (0)9 262 00 82
m: +32 (0)479 49 06 03
Ablynx media relations Consilium Strategic Communications:
Mary-Jane Elliott, Jonathan Birt, Chris Welsh, Lindsey Neville
t: +44 203 709 5700
e : firstname.lastname@example.org
Pdf version of the press release http://hugin.info/137912/R/1921809/688832.pdf