SOURCE: Ablynx

March 28, 2011 12:15 ET


GHENT, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - March 28, 2011) - Ablynx [Euronext Brussels: ABLX] announced today that it had initiated a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled Phase I/II study with ALX-0061, a Nanobody targeting the interleukin 6 receptor (IL-6R), in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

IL-6 and its receptor IL-6R are involved in the pathogenesis of various inflammatory and auto-immune diseases, including RA. ALX-0061 selectively and potently binds to the IL-6R, and has demonstrated a favourable pharmacodynamic (PD), pharmacokinetic (PK) and safety profile in pre-clinical studies.

ALX-0061 incorporates albumin targeting as a means of half-life extension and this is believed to improve the delivery of the Nanobody to the inflamed tissue. ALX-0061 may have the potential to provide a valuable alternative treatment option for patients with RA and other inflammatory diseases.

The Phase I/II study will investigate the safety, PK, PD and efficacy of single and multiple intravenous administrations of ALX-0061. Ablynx will recruit up to 72 patients with RA in up to ten centres in Europe.

Dr Edwin Moses, CEO and Chairman at Ablynx, commented: "We are delighted to advance ALX-0061 directly into patients with RA, which may lead to a clinical proof-of-concept by 2012. The trial being initiated today brings the total number of Nanobodies in clinical trials to six."

About ALX-0061 (IL-6R)

ALX-0061 is a Nanobody binding to the interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R). It has the potential to differentiate through its high potency, high stability and low molecule weight of only 26kD which should translate into superior tissue penetration, attractive PK/PD and superior safety and efficacy profile compared with a benchmark monoclonal antibody. The Nanobody is half-life extended with a Nanobody targeting albumin, which is believed to improve the delivery of the Nanobody to the inflamed tissue. An IMPD was filed with ALX-0061 in December 2010.

The involvement of the IL-6 pathway in a variety of diseases indicates that multiple indications can be pursued with large market potential including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Crohn's disease, Castleman's disease, multiple myeloma and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Complete version of the press release:

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Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact Ablynx:

    Dr Edwin Moses
    Chairman and CEO
    t: +32 (0)9 262 00 07
    m: +44 (0)7771 954 193 /
    +32 (0)473 39 50 68
    e: Email Contact

    Marieke Vermeersch
    Investor Relations Manager
    t: +32 (0)9 262 00 82
    m: +32 (0)479 49 06 03
    e: Email Contact