Nanobody Phase II Results for Arthritis: Good but not good enough?

11/07/2016 - 3 minutes

Ablynx has shown that its candidate for Rheumatoid arthritis could work as a monotherapy, but whether they can convince AbbVie to stick to the previous $840M deal is still unclear.

ablynx abbvie rheumatoid arthritis nanobodyGhent-based Ablynx has hooked several big Pharmas with its Nanobody platform, based on the shorter monoclonal antibodies of llamas.

One of these is AbbVie (France), which is trying to get a new rheumatoid arthritis candidate to replace its super-successful blockbuster Humira, now under biosimilar attack.

Back in 2013, it paid Ablynx $175M upfront for a collaboration to develop vobarilizumab, an anti-IL-6R antibody. The candidate targets a receptor for interleukin-6, a protein involved in inflammation. Interleukin-6 is also the target for the rheumatoid arthritis candidates of Janssen’s sirukumab and Sanofi’s sarilumab.

Now, results for vobarilizumab’s Phase IIb trial as a monotherapy for rheumatoid arthritis are out. The trial enrolled 251 patients with rheumatoid arthritis that are intolerant to methotrexate (common drug for psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis) –

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