Ablynx has announced that its partner, Boehringer Ingelheim, presented positive in vivo proof-of-mechanism data from the half-life extended bispecific anti-VEGF/Ang2 Nanobody at the 8th Euro Global Summit on Cancer Therapy (3-5 November, Valencia, Spain).
The anti-VEGF/Ang2 Nanobody was discovered and developed as part of the Strategic Alliance between both parties, signed in September 2007. This Nanobody blocks both vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiopoietin-2 (Ang2), important proteins that are involved in the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels (angiogenesis), a vital mechanism in the growth of tumours.
The data was presented in a poster session by Boehringer Ingelheim on 4 November 2015 at 16.30 CET. The poster title was “Dual Targeting of Angiogenesis Pathways: Combined Blockade of VEGF and Ang2 Signalling.”
The results from the preclinical study demonstrated that this bispecific Nanobody potently inhibits VEGF and Ang2 signalling in multiple in vivo cancer models and strongly impairs proliferation and survival of human endothelial cells. In addition, the bispecific Nanobody showed superior efficacy when compared with the inhibition of the individual pathways by the reference monoclonal antibody drugs. The Nanobody was also found to be well tolerated in cynomolgus monkeys.
These strong in vivo proof-of-mechanism results support the evaluation of this Nanobody in Phase I clinical studies, which will trigger a milestone payment to Ablynx at study start.
About Strategic Alliance between Boehringer Ingelheim and Ablynx
In September 2007, Ablynx and Boehringer Ingelheim entered into a strategic alliance on the discovery, development and commercialization of Nanobody therapeutics across a range of diseases, including oncology, immunology, respiratory and vascular diseases. The agreement allows for potential milestone payments of up to €125 million plus royalties to Ablynx for each Nanobody which reaches the market.
Boehringer Ingelheim is exclusively responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialisation of any products resulting from the collaboration. Ablynx retains certain co-promotion rights in Europe. To date, Ablynx has earned >€67 million in cash from this strategic alliance and in addition to the anti-VEGF/Ang2 Nanobody there are a number of other programmes advancing through pre-clinical development, all fully funded by Boehringer Ingelheim.