64 Million RSV Infections Per Year: Perhaps Alpaca Nanobodies Will Save Infant Lives

18/12/2015 - 3 minutes

Ablynx, the Alpaca Nanobody Biotech from Belgium, has completed target enrollment of the first-in-infant Phase I/IIa study with its anti-Respiratory Syncytial virus, which is linked to 3,000-8,500 infant deaths each year.

ablynx_rsv_infection_trial_antibodyALX-0171 is a wholly-owned Nanobody drug candidate administered through inhalation (nebulisation), for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in infants.  The candidate is also a trivalent Nanobody (one anti-body, 3 sites of anti-RSV acting nanobodies) which inhibits RSV replication and which neutralises RSV activity by blocking virus uptake into cells.

RSV infects up to 64 million annually, most of which are infants within their first year, the elderly and the immuno-compromised. As a member of the Pneumovirinae subfamily, RSV often leads to hospitalization (in 2-3% of infants under 5 in the US), contributing to risk of developing asthma in later childhood, exacerbating COPD and even causing fatal pneumonia.

Ablynx’s candidate has therefore been granted permission to lower the age requirement for infants in the trial down from 3 months to 1 month old following positive data in the 15 infant size placebo part of the phase I/IIa study.

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