Ablynx and Algeta Enter Into a Research Collaboration to Evaluate the Potential of Novel Alpha-Pharmaceuticals Comprising Thorium-277 Conjugated to Tumour-Targeting Nanobodies


GHENT, BELGIUM and OSLO, NORWAY--(Marketwire - Nov 21, 2012) - Ablynx (EURONEXT BRUSSELS: ABLX) and Algeta ASA (OSE: ALGETA) announce a researchcollaboration to evaluate a novel Targeted Thorium Conjugate (TTC) based oncombining Algeta's proprietary thorium-227 alpha-pharmaceutical payloadwith Nanobodies® generated using Ablynx's proprietary technologyplatform.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Ablynx will provide access to novelNanobodies against a specific, undisclosed target and Algeta will provideaccess to chelation and conjugation technologies, as well as to itsalpha-emitterthorium-227. Both companies will contribute resources towards thecollaboration, which is expected to last for up to a year initially withthe option for extension thereafter. No further terms have been disclosed.

Andreas Menrad, Chief Scientific Officer of Ablynx, said:
"We are very pleased to be working with Algeta to discover and developnovel cancer therapeutics based on both companies' proprietarytechnologies. Our Nanobodies have the potential to selectively andefficiently deliver Algeta's thorium-227 to the site of the tumour. We arevery excited about combining our unique and powerful technology withAlgeta's leading payload expertise to search for breakthrough opportunitiesin oncology."

Thomas Ramdahl, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer ofAlgeta, said:
"The collaboration with Ablynx, the fifth TTC programme to be disclosed byAlgeta, is designed to evaluate the potential of a Nanobody to act as thetargeting molecule for the alpha-pharmaceutical payload, thorium-227. Thispayload has the potential to provide higher potency and more effectivedelivery over other therapeutic payloads, with the further advantage thatthere are no known cellular resistance mechanisms to the cell killingproperties of alpha particles."

About Ablynx
Ablynx is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery anddevelopment of Nanobodies®, a novel class of therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments, for a range of serious human diseases,including inflammation, haematology, oncology and pulmonary disease. Today,the Company has approximately 25 programmes in the pipeline and sevenNanobodies at clinical development stage. Ablynx has ongoing researchcollaborations and significant partnerships with major pharmaceuticalcompanies including Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Novartis and Merck &Co. The Company is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium. More information can befound on www.ablynx.com.

About the Ablynx Nanobody platform
Nanobodies are antibody-derived therapeutic proteins that contain theunique structural and functional properties of naturally-occurringheavy-chain antibodies. The Nanobody technology was originally developedfollowing the discovery that camelidae (camels and llamas) possess fullyfunctional antibodies that lack light chains. These heavy-chain antibodiescontain a single variable domain (VHH) and two constant domains (CH2 andCH3). Importantly, the cloned and isolated VHH domain is a perfectly stablepolypeptide harbouring the full antigen-binding capacity of the originalheavy-chain antibody. These newly discovered VHH domains with their uniquestructural and functional properties form the basis of a new generation oftherapeutic antibodies which Ablynx has named Nanobodies.

About Algeta
Algeta is a company focused on developing novel targeted therapies forpatients with cancer based on its alpha-pharmaceutical platform. TheCompany is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and has a US subsidiary, AlgetaUS, LLC, based in Cambridge, MA performing commercial marketing operationsin the US. Algeta is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (ALGETA.OL).For more information please visit www.algeta.com.

About the Algeta TTC Platform
Algeta is evaluating the potential utility of alpha-particle emittingelements in the treatment of cancer. Previous studies[1] have indicated thatsuch elements may have value in treating cancers by causing double-strandDNA breaks that trigger cell death, and have also shown that the effects ofalpha-emission are highly localised as a result of the very short range ofthe alpha particle (2-10 cell diameters). Thorium-227 is one alpha-particleemitting element (radionuclide) that has been selected by Algeta forfurther investigation. By linking thorium-227 to cancer-targeting moleculessuch as monoclonal antibodies, Algeta believes it may be possible todevelop a pipeline of targeted alpha-pharmaceuticals, termed TargetedThorium Conjugates, or TTCs. The TTC platform is at an early research phasein development. Algeta intends to evaluate TTCs in a broad range of cancertypes to determine whether the TTC platform could offer advantages overnaked (un-armed) antibodies or antibody-drug conjugate technologies thatuse cytotoxic drugs (rather than alpha-emitting elements) as payloads. Suchadvantages could include increased potency, a more localised tumouricidaleffect and the potential to address drug resistance by virtue of thephysical action of the alpha particles.

[1] Hall (1994) Radiobiology for the Radiologist (Lippincott, Philadelphia)

press release in pdf : http://hugin.info/137912/R/1659601/537304.pdf

For more information, please contact
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e: edwin.moses@ablynx.com

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