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Ablynx [Euronext Brussels: ABLX] today announced that Boehringer Ingelheim has submitted a Clinical Trials Application (CTA) to the European regulatory authorities to start a Phase I clinical trial with a Nanobody® for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The Nanobody has been developed as part of the collaboration signed between Ablynx and Boehringer and the event triggers a €1 million milestone payment to Ablynx.
In January 2007, Boehringer Ingelheim and Ablynx announced a worldwide research and licensing agreement to discover and develop new therapies for Alzheimer's disease using Ablynx's Nanobodies against a single disease target. The collaboration has a potential value of $265 million in upfront and milestone payments plus undisclosed royalties on product sales. Boehringer Ingelheim is solely responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialisation of any products resulting from the collaboration.
Dr Edwin Moses, CEO and Chairman of Ablynx, commented:
"We are excited that Boehringer Ingelheim has already submitted a CTA for this Nanobody. This development candidate has the potential to be a first-in-class therapy for Alzheimer's disease and demonstrates the power of our Nanobody platform. We look forward to seeing this programme enter the clinic over the coming months."
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia in adults. It is estimated to affect 4.5 million Americans and over 30 million people worldwide with an average course of 8-12 years. It is projected that the disease prevalence will double over the next 20 years. Marketed products address some of the symptoms, but there are currently no treatments available that delay or halt the progression of the disease. Global sales of Alzheimer's disease drugs were approximately $8 billion in 2010 and are expected to exceed $14 billion by 2015.
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 and life-threatening human diseases, including inflammation, haematology, oncology and pulmonary disease. Today, the Company has over 25 programmes in the pipeline and seven Nanobodies at clinical development stage. Ablynx has ongoing research collaborations and significant partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies, including Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck Serono and Novartis. The Company is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium.