Monday, February 3, 2014

Merck Does A Second Deal With Ablynx -- This Time, Looking Toward Cancer-Fighting Nanobodies

The up front payment is larger in this round, as well -- at €20 million, or about $27 million in US dollars. [Prior 2012 vintage €2 million deal background, here.]

My buddie, John Carroll, writing for FierceBioTech -- has the most nuanced view of the deal up online, so far. Go read all of his, but here's a bit:

. . . .The deal highlights the promise of Ablynx's unique antibody approach, taking the smaller, simplified structures of camel and llama antibodies and repurposing them for work in humans. To put it simply, nanobodies are designed to latch on to their target better, offering a lower tox design with high affinity. Due to its much smaller size--about one-tenth the size of currently used antibodies--it can also act more like a small molecule than a large molecule, inhibiting enzymes. . . .

We will keep you posted. And as John hints, this all might be one great way to extend a might-be future lead in oncology, should Merck get MK-3475 to the finish line first. The jury is still firmly out -- way out -- (opening arguments just getting underway, at FDA!) on that, though. But to be sure, Ablynx is truly the flavor of the moment!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Debbie Law now head of Merck, Palo Alto, was a principal at Ablynx before Merck. Rich Murray, now running Biologics at Merck, was at PDL/Facet and worked with Debby Law at PDL.

I think Debbie is good and smart. Rich Murray- not so much.