Belgian Nanobodies company Ablynx raised €50 million gross (about $68.54 million) through a secondary public offering priced at €7.50 (roughly $10.28) per share. The company says that together with existing shares, the number of outstanding shares will now amount to about 45.5 million, representing a market capitalization of some €327 million (approximately $448.18 million) immediately after the offering. 40,000 over-allotment shares, equivalent to €3 million (about $4 million), have also been allocated.
Ablynx believes the new funding will give the company “increased flexibility to advance programs through to clinical proof-of-concept, potentially commercialize our orphan drug program, ALX-0681, ourselves, and/or co-invest in development alongside our pharmaceutical partners,” comments Edwin Moses, Ph.D., Ablynx chairman and CEO.
Ablynx made its €75 million (roughly $102.79 million) IPO back in 2007. At the time the offering represented the largest ever biotech IPO on the Euronext Brussels exchange, the firm claims.
Nanobodies are antibody-derived therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments. The concept has been developed on the back of research from 1992 demonstrating that camels, llamas, and closely related animals possess antibodies that lack light chains but still have the full antigen-binding capacity of conventional antibodies.
Ablynx is exploiting the Nanobody platform for applications both in house and in partnership with companies like Pfizer, Merck Serono, and Boehringer Ingelheim. Disease areas of interest include cardiovascular disease, immunology, inflammation, neurology, pulmonary disease, and oncology.
The firm’s lead in-house candidates, ALX-0081 and ALX-0681, are at the proof-of-concept-stage. They are antithrombotic Nanobodies targeting von Willebrand factor. ALX-0081 is designed for intravenous administration, and ALX-0681 is a subcutaneously delivered candidate. The Nanobodies are in development for reducing the risk of thrombosis in patients with disorders like acute coronary syndrome and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.