Ablynx will receive a €1.68 million (approximately $2.3 million) grant from the Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT) for the advancement of ALX-0171, its first inhaled Nanobody® in infants for the treatment of RSV infections. Additionally, the one-year funding will be used to explore novel applications of nebulized Nanobodies.
A Phase I study showed that the Nanobody was well-tolerated and had no clinical significant effects on lung function, according to the company. Dose-limited toxicity, no treatment emergent immunogenicity, and no bronchoconstriction occurred.
The optimal delivery of the Nanobody through nebulization has been demonstrated in a reconstructed upper airway anatomical model of a 9-month old baby, showing significant deposition of ALX-0171 in the model infant lung, Ablynx said. A preclinical study and two safety studies are currently-on-going with the goal to commence the first-in-infant trial during H2 2014.
ALX-0171 is a trivalent Nanobody that neutralizes viral replication in the respiratory tract. It allows fast delivery directly into the lungs, i.e., the site of infection, through nebulization.
On Tuesday, Ablynx’ partner Boehringer Ingelheim dosed the first volunteers in a Phase I trial as part of the evaluation of a Nanobody® for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The start of the study triggered a milestone payment of €5 million ($6.85 million) to Ablynx.