Belgian biotech harnessing antibodies from... llamas?
- Belgian biotech Ablynx already has three products in development and partnerships with several large companies, all based on nanobodies extracted from fragments of heave-chained-only antibodies from llamas, Bloomberg reports.
- The most advanced product in development is a treatment for thrombocytopenic purpura (TPP), a rare disease that can lead to micro blood clots.
- Ablynx currently has partnerships or agreements with AbbVie, Merck, Novartis, and Boehringer Ingelheim.
The science behind Ablynx's therapies is based on developing proprietary therapeutic proteins—nanobodies—based on llama antibodies, which according to the researchers, have the potential to treat a broad range of diseases. Ablynx's TPP product is slated for submission in the E.U. in 2017, and in the U.S. after completion of phase III trials.
In addition to focusing on TPP, Ablynx also has products in development for respiratory syncytial virus and rheumatoid arthritis, with additional plans to develop therapies for cancer with Merck.