Ablynx has announced that it will receive a milestone payment of $3 million after Pfizer began a new Phase I clinical study in healthy volunteers for PF-05230905, the second nanobody targeting tumour necrosis factor alpha to have entered development under the collaboration between the two companies.
Nanobodies are Ablynx’s scaled-down version of antibodies, which have the ability to reach intracellular targets. Pfizer’s lead anti-TNF-alpha Nanobody, ATN-103, is currently in a Phase II study in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Ablynx entered into an exclusive research collaboration and license agreement in November 2006 with Wyeth, which was acquired by Pfizer. As part of the agreement, Pfizer now owns the exclusive worldwide development and commercialisation rights to the anti-TNF-alpha nanobody programme. This deal has a potential value of $212.5 million in up-fronts and milestone payments, of which Ghent-based Ablynx has now earned a total of $10 million.
Edwin Moses, CEO and Chairman of Ablynx, said Pfizer’s decision to advance a second anti-TNF-alpha Nanobody into the clinic underscores the importance and potential of the programme. “We are very pleased with the progress made in this TNF-alpha partnership, and we continue to work with Pfizer to discover additional anti-TNF-alpha nanobodies.” In total, there are now five Abnlynx nanobody products in clinical development.