Ablynx secures €1.5m in grants
Will be used to fund research into Nanobody developments
Belgian biopharmaceutical firm Ablynx has been awarded a grant worth €1.1m by the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT). It has also secured €400,000 from the Portuguese government, as part of a consortium.
Ablynx says the IWT grant will enable the firm to accelerate its ALX-0171 pre-clinical development programme for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections. ALX-0171 binds to RSV and neutralises the virus. The Nanobody will be administered via the lungs and based on in vivo data, has the potential to be effective in the prevention of infection as well as in treatment once infection has occurred.
ALX-0171 is Ablynx's first Nanobody pre-clinical development candidate to be delivered through a route other than injection. In common with many Nanobodies, ALX-0171 is very stable, making it suitable for inhalation. It can also be manufactured at relatively low cost in microbial systems.
The grant from the Portuguese government will allow Ablynx and its collaborators to explore routes of delivery for Nanobodies into the central nervous system (CNS) and to develop products against therapeutically relevant CNS targets.
According to Ablynx chief executive Edwin Moses, the firm has more than 25 therapeutic programmes in its pipeline with four Nanobody products in clinical development.