Ablynx announces technical advances in its Nanobody® platform technology: enhanced benefits from pulmonary delivery and half-life extension

14-01-2009

Ablynx [Euronext Brussels: ABLX], a pioneer in the discovery and development of Nanobodies®, a novel class of antibody-derived therapeutic proteins, announced today two significant advances achieved with its Nanobody® platform. In the first, it has shown that anti-viral Nanobodies® give extended protection against viral infection in vivo when administered via an intrapulmonary route. In the second, Ablynx has demonstrated in vivo proof of concept for a proprietary novel half-life(*) extension technology which allows the half-life of its Nanobody®-based therapeutics to be tailored depending on the disease indication.

Pulmonary delivery of Nanobodies®

Ablynx has demonstrated that anti-viral Nanobodies® protect against signs of viral infection and presence of active virus when delivered via an intrapulmonary route. Following a single administration of the Nanobodies® via the lungs, neutralization of virus was observed for at least 72 hours.
Additionally, Ablynx has shown that Nanobodies® are suitable for systemic delivery(**) via the lungs. Their extended bioavailability is increased by a factor of five to ten times compared with intravenous administration.
Ablynx is also investigating other alternative delivery technologies for its Nanobodies® including oral to systemic delivery and needleless administration.

Novel proprietary half-life extension technology

Ablynx has access to several different methods to tailor the half-life of its Nanobodies® depending on the desired characteristics of the therapeutic drug candidate and the indication. The Company announced today that they have discovered and developed a novel proprietary half-life extension technology and demonstrated in vivo results which show considerable potential to significantly increase the half-life for its Nanobodies® in humans.
The novel half-life technology complements favourably the superior formatting flexibility of the Nanobody® platform. It is also believed this technology is better suited for extending the half-life of small therapeutic peptides compared with other proteins used for half-life extension. The technology is the subject of two distinct patent families.

Edwin Moses, CEO and Chairman of Ablynx, commented:
“These new technology developments show the strength, versatility and broad applicability of the Nanobody® platform. The ability to administer Nanobodies® through pulmonary delivery rather than injection opens up exciting new avenues for Ablynx and its partners. In addition, half-life extension is important for our programmes which address chronic indications – with these results, we now have an even broader range of technologies from which to choose. We continue to rapidly develop novel Nanobody®-based therapeutics for diseases where there is a high unmet medical need. There are now three Nanobodies® in clinical development.”

(*) Half-life time: the length of time it takes for half of the drug molecules to get cleared from systemic circulation
(**) Systemic delivery: the drug goes throughout the body (usually carried in the bloodstream), and includes oral administration (by mouth) and intravenous administration (injection into the vein)

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