Under the terms of the agreement, Ablynx will receive upfront fees, license fees and funding for research and development. In addition, Ablynx will be eligible for milestone payments and royalties upon commercialization.
Both companies will collaborate to discover and develop Nanobody™ based therapeutics against disease targets that are difficult to address with conventional antibodies or their fragments.
Novartis has exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the Nanobody™ products resulting from the collaboration.
Dr Mark Vaeck, Chief Executive Officer of Ablynx, commented, "We are extremely pleased to collaborate with Novartis, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies with a significant track record in innovative drug development."
"This partnership is the second of a number of corporate alliances that Ablynx will be announcing in the course of 2006 and further validates our Nanobody™ platform as a promising discovery engine for novel breakthrough therapeutics."
"It also shows the continued execution of our corporate strategy which comprises building a broad portfolio of Nanobody™-based drugs, from external partnerships as well as from our own internal pipeline."
Dr Simon Kerry, Director of Business Development at Ablynx, added, "This is a very significant collaboration across a number of therapeutic areas and targets."
"We are delighted to have signed a deal with a company of such a standing as Novartis underlining the potential of Nanobodies™ as a novel and promising class of drugs."