GHENT, Belgium, June 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
-- Exclusive license agreement with Taisho Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd., to
develop and commercialise ozoralizumab in Japan for the treatment of
rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
-- Ablynx to receive an upfront payment, future milestones and royalties on
Ablynx [Euronext Brussels: ABLX; OTC: ABYLY] today announced that it
has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Taisho
Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. ("Taisho") for the development and
commercialisation of Ablynx's anti-TNFa Nanobody, ozoralizumab, in
Japan, for the treatment of RA.
Under the terms of the agreement, Taisho will be responsible for
development, registration and commercialisation of anti-TNFa Nanobody
therapeutics in Japan. Ablynx will receive an upfront payment of US$3
million and is entitled to receive development and commercial milestone
payments plus royalties based on annual net sales of anti-TNFa Nanobody
therapeutics generated in Japan.
Dr Edwin Moses, CEO of Ablynx, commented:
"We continue to deliver on our partnering strategy for ozoralizumab and
are very pleased that this Nanobody could now become a potential new
treatment option for inflammatory diseases in Japan. This is our first
step in building a presence in Japan and we are looking forward to
working together with Taisho to make this novel treatment option
available to Japanese patients living with RA."
Ozoralizumab is a next-generation TNFa blocker with clinical Phase II
proof-of-concept in RA. The therapeutic molecule consists of two
Nanobodies targeting TNFa, which are linked to a Nanobody that binds to
human serum albumin, extending the drug's half-life and improving its
distribution to inflamed joints in vivo.
More information on ozoralizumab is available on the Ablynx website
under the section R&D portfolio.
On 1 September 2014, Ablynx granted an exclusive royalty-bearing
license to Eddingpharm, one of the leading Chinese specialty
pharmaceutical companies, to develop and commercialise ozoralizumab in
The pharmaceutical market in Japan
IMS Health projects that the global pharmaceutical market will reach
between $1.13 trillion and $1.24 trillion by 2017. The United States is
expected to hold the number one position with 31% market share and
Japan is expected to retain the number two spot with a 9% share (if
traditional Chinese medicines are excluded), with growth expected to be
driven by easing of regulatory guidelines, an aging population and a
strong product pipeline. Japan is expected to account for 13% of
original brand pharmaceutical sales by 2017.
There are approximately 800,000 patients in Japan living with
rheumatoid arthritis, and sales of anti-TNFa drugs in Japan amounted to
$1.2bn in 2011, representing approximately 1.5% of the total Japanese
pharmaceutical market. In developed markets, IMS projects that
anti-TNFa medicines will represent the third largest therapeutic class
by 2017 with an estimated market size of $32-37 billion.
About Taisho Pharmaceutical Co . , Ltd.
Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is working to increase its corporate
value by leveraging the combined power of the Self-Medication and the
Prescription Pharmaceutical Operation Group. As a leader in OTC drugs
in Japan, the Self-Medication Operation Group supplies a large number
of switch-OTC drugs and healthcare products. The group is also
developing its business in the Overseas OTC drugs sector to meet local
needs in a context of economic growth in each country. Meanwhile, the
Prescription Pharmaceutical Operation Group is focusing on research and
development of highly unique new drugs that will succeed in markets
worldwide. Especially, the group has a strong capability to develop new
drugs for the field of orthopaedics. The group is also actively
promoting this program aiming to launch a continued stream of new drugs
onto the markets.
Ablynx is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of
Nanobodies(R), proprietary therapeutic proteins based on single-domain
antibody fragments, which combine the advantages of conventional
antibody drugs with some of the features of small-molecule drugs.
Ablynx is dedicated to creating new medicines which will make a real
difference to society. Today, the Company has more than 30 proprietary
and partnered programmes in development in various therapeutic areas
including inflammation, haematology, immuno-oncology, oncology and
respiratory disease. The Company has collaborations with multiple
pharmaceutical companies including AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim,
Eddingpharm, Genzyme, Merck & Co, Inc., Merck Serono and Novartis. The
Company is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium. More information can be
found on www.ablynx.com.
For more information, please contactAblynx:Dr Edwin MosesCEOt: +32 (0)9
262 00 07m: +32 (0)473 39 50 68e: [email protected]
Marieke VermeerschAssociate Director Investor Relationst: +32 (0)9 262
00 82m: +32 (0)479 49 06 03e: [email protected] us on
Ablynx media relations Consilium Strategic Communications:
Mary-Jane Elliott, Jonathan Birt, Chris Welsh, Lindsey Nevillet: +44
203 709 5700e: [email protected]
 Press releases published on 17 May 2011 and 25 June 2012