June 30, 2015
Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. [Head Office: Toshima-ku, Tokyo, President: Shigeru Uehara](“Taisho”) announced that Taisho and Ablynx [Euronext Brussels: ABLX] have entered into an exclusive license agreement with Ablynx for the development and commercialisation of Ablynx’s anti-TNFα (Tumor Necrosis Factor α) Nanobody, ozoralizumab, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Japan.
Under the terms of the agreement, Taisho will make an upfront payment and Ablynx is entitled to receive development and commercial milestone payments plus royalties based on annual net sales of anti-TNFα Nanobody therapeutics generated in Japan. Taisho will be responsible for development, registration and commercialisation of anti-TNFα Nanobody therapeutics in Japan.
RA is a chronic, progressive, inflammatory disease of the joints and surrounding tissues, and is associated with pain, irreversible joint destruction. Although the cause of RA is not identified yet, it is known that various inflammatory factors including TNFα play a significant role. It is said that Japan has approximately 700,000-800,000 patients of RA.
Ozoralizumab is a next-generation TNFα blocker with clinical Phase II proof-of-concept in RA. The therapeutic molecule consists of two Nanobodies targeting TNFα, which are linked to a Nanobody that binds to human serum albumin, extending the drug’s half-life and improving its distribution to inflamed joints in vivo.
More information on the ozoralizumab is available on the Ablynx website under the section R&D portfolio.
Ablynx is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of Nanobodies, proprietary therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments, which combine the advantages of conventional antibody drugs with some of the features of small-molecule drugs. Ablynx is dedicated to creating new medicines which will make a real difference to society. Today, the Company has more than 30 proprietary and partnered programmes in development in various therapeutic areas including inflammation, haematology, immuno-oncology, oncology and respiratory disease. The Company has collaborations with multiple pharmaceutical companies including AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eddingpharm, Genzyme, Merck & Co., Inc., Merck Serono and Novartis. The Company is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium. More information can be found on www.ablynx.com.