Ablynx, a biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has entered into a research collaboration and global exclusive licensing agreement with Sanofi initially focused on developing and commercialising Nanobody®-based therapeutics for the treatment of various immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.
This collaboration gives Sanofi access to certain Nanobodies in Ablynx’s existing portfolio as well as to Ablynx’s scientists and proprietary Nanobody platform. Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi gains exclusive global rights to certain multi-specific Nanobodies against selected targets, with options for similar rights to additional targets, for a total of eight potential Nanobody product candidates.
The financial terms include an upfront payment of €23 million to Ablynx, comprised of license and option fees. In addition, Ablynx will receive research funding, estimated to amount to €8 million for the initially selected targets. Upon exercise of options to additional targets, Sanofi will pay Ablynx further option exercise fees and research funding. Sanofi will be responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialisation of any products resulting from this agreement. Ablynx will be eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to €2.4 billion plus tiered royalties up to low double digits on the net sales of any products originating from the collaboration.
Dr Edwin Moses, CEO of Ablynx, commented: “This strategically important collaboration further confirms the potential of our Nanobody platform and is a unique opportunity for us to work with a world-leader like Sanofi in the development of a new generation of therapeutics for the treatment of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. We look forward to exploring the different Nanobody target combinations as new and novel therapeutic options for patients suffering from a range of inflammatory diseases.”
Frank Nestle, MD, Sanofi’s Global Head of Immunology Therapeutic Research Area and Chief Scientific Officer, North America, commented: “This collaboration is the latest example of Sanofi’s strategic commitment to expand our drug discovery pipeline in immunology at a time when we are launching new treatments for atopic dermatitis and rheumatoid arthritis. We are particularly excited by the Ablynx technology as a leading biologics platform, enabling the development of transformative multi-targeting treatment approaches. Through external partnerships like these, combined with our internal R&D expertise, we aim to transform the treatment landscape for patients living with autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.”