Ablynx awarded €1.5M in grant for respiratory infection programme

07 Jul 2010 | News


Belgian nanobody specialist Ablynx has been awarded a grant worth €1.1 million by the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT) and a second grant worth €400,000 from the Portuguese government, as part of a consortium.

The IWT grant allows Ablynx to accelerate its pre-clinical development programme, ALX-0171, 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 both in the prevention of infection as well as in treatment once infection has occurred. Nanobodies are scaled-down versions of antibodies that are able to reach intracellular targets that full-size antibodies cannot reach.

ALX-0171 is Ablynx's first nanobody to be delivered through a route other than injection. The product is very stable, making it suitable for inhalation. It can also be manufactured at relatively low cost in microbial systems.

Meanwhile, 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 nanobodies against CNS targets.

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