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Last Wednesday, Ablynx NV (Euronext Brussels: ABLX) announced that it has entered into a research collaboration with Algeta ASA (Oslo: ALGETA) to explore the combination of Nanobodies with thorium-227 using Algeta’s proprietary Targeted Thorium Conjugate, or TCC technology.
The two companies will work together to establish if a Nanobody-Thorium 227 conjugate can be generated and whether the resulting conjugate can target a specific population of tumour cells. Ablynx will provide access to novel Nanobodies against a specific, undisclosed target. Algeta will provide access to chelation and conjugation technologies, as well as to its alpha-emitter thorium-227.
Targeted Thorium Conjugates, or TTCs, are experimental anti-cancer agents being developed by Algeta that are made by linking the thorium-227 radioisotope to a cancer targeting molecule. Thorium-227 has potential value in the treatment of cancer as it has a localized tumoricidal effect due of the very short range of the alpha particles.
Specific features of the Ablynx Nanobodies (small size, improved stability and robustness, potential for tumour-specific formatting, ability to modulate half life) could make them ideal for delivering thorium-227 to a tumour. The physical action of alpha particles reduces the possibility of drug resistance observed with conventional chemotherapy and biologics.