Sanofi Offers up to €2.4Bn to Belgian Biotech to Develop Nanobodies

Ablynx and Sanofi have entered a research collaboration and exclusive licensing agreement for up to eight nanobody candidates for immune and inflammatory disease. 

Ablynx, based in Belgium, develops nanobodies, single-domain antibodies inspired on those of camels and llamas that have the advantage of being much smaller than standard antibodies. This technology has caught the attention of Sanofi, which will start the collaboration by paying Ablynx €23M in license and option fees and €8M in research funding.

In exchange, the French pharma gains exclusive rights to certain multi-specific nanobodies in Ablynx’ portfolio and the option to gain rights for additional targets, up to a total of eight nanobody candidates. If Sanofi opts in for all eight candidates and they reach commercialization, the Belgian biotech could receive up to €2.4Bn in milestone payments, plus low double-digit royalties.

This agreement adds yet another big pharma to the long list of Ablynx’ partners. The biotech company currently has a pipeline of 45 candidates and collaborations with AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis and Merck – both the German (EMD) and the American (MSD).

Image via  Per Bengtsson / Shutterstock

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