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Proof-of-Concept ALX-0061 RA Data and Potential €448MM Merck Deal Sweetens the Pot


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-ALX-0061 Met the Efficacy Endpoint in RA Study-

-24 Week Data Expected in 1Q13-


Report is Available for Download at: www.lifesciadvisors.com/clients/ablynx

Last Thursday, Ablynx NV (Euronext Brussels: ABLX) announced exciting interim results from a Phase 1/2 study of ALX-0061 in patients with moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Also, a new collaboration agreement with Merck (NYSE: MRK) to develop and commercialize Nanobodies targeting voltage-gated ion channels worth a potential €448MM (plus royalties) was announced.

Significant Opportunity Exists for ALX-0061 in the RA Space. ALX-0061 is a 26kD Nanobody that binds to both soluble and membrane-bound interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R), which is indicated in a variety of diseases, including RA, Crohn’s disease, Castleman’s disease, multiple myeloma, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). ALX-0061 has the ability to neutralize IL-6R with high potency and targets the receptor in a monovalent fashion. Blocking the IL-6R pathway is becoming more prevalent in second-line RA treatment with Roche’s (SIX: RO) (Ro)Actemra, which did nearly $600MM in sales in 2011 and has sales expectations >$2B for 2015. However, (Ro)Actemra is the only anti IL-6R biological on the market, so significant opportunity still exists for ALX-0061.

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