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Ablynx is a pioneer in the discovery and development of a novel class of therapeutic proteins known as Nanobodies®. The structure and extreme stability of Nanobodies® enables them to engage therapeutic targets that are inaccessible to conventional antibodies. Nanobodies® therefore address the strong and growing demand for improved therapeutics for serious and life-threatening diseases, and have the potential to create new market opportunities beyond those accessible to conventional antibodies.
Since commencing operations in 2002, Ablynx has generated Nanobody® leads against a number of human disease targets across a wide range of therapeutic areas. Two of these leads are now in advanced pre-clinical development, and Ablynx’s first therapeutic program is expected to enter human clinical trials in 2006.
Ablynx’s Nanobody® technology was originally discovered at laboratories of the Free University of Brussels (VUB). Scientists at the VUB discovered that up to half of the antibody repertoire in camelidae consists of antibodies that lack a conventional antibody light-chain, but retain full antigen-binding capacity. The technology and intellectual property created around this discovery was further developed within the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB). In 2001 VIB created Ablynx in collaboration with founding venture investor, GIMV. Ablynx now operates from its state-of-the-art facilities in Ghent, Belgium.