Ablynx claimed that ALX-0061 binds to the IL-6 receptor (IL-6R). It has a high potency and demonstrated a favourable pharmacodynamic (PD), pharmacokinetic (PK) and safety profile in pre-clinical testing compared with the benchmark molecule.
ALX-0061 has no Fc-mediated effector function which may translate into an improved safety profile. Due to its monovalent binding to the target, it also does not have the potential to crosslink the IL-6R target which may have some benefits compared with monoclonal antibody approaches.
Edwin Moses, chairman and CEO of Ablynx, said: "ALX-0061 is a key programme in the Ablynx portfolio and Ablynx is on track to file an IND equivalent in Europe before the end of this year. We are delighted with IWT's continued support of the Nanobody platform and very pleased we will also receive support for our preclinical and clinical activities related to ALX-0061.
"This grant is a valuable contribution to the ALX-0061 programme, which we are advancing towards clinical development. There are already four Nanobodies in the clinic, with our lead programme, ALX-0081, an anti-thrombotic, in Phase II since September 2009."