Ablynx has commenced pre-clinical development of ALX-0962, an anti-immunoglobulin E (IgE) nanobody, to treat severe allergic asthma.

ALX-0962 comprises anti-IgE nanobody with a dual mode of action and a serum albumin binding nanobody for in-vivo plasma half-life extension.

The company is developing the anti-IgE nanobody as a next-generation biologic against severe allergic asthma with important potential benefits compared to existing therapeutics.

Ablynx believes ALX-0962 has the potential to exhibit a better safety profile with faster onset of action, along with convenient dosing regimens.

Ablynx chairman and CEO Dr Edwin Moses said the biologic is expected to enter the clinic in the second half of 2014.

“Severe allergic asthma is an important condition and represents a substantial segment of the total asthma market that currently has a total value of $14.7bn,” Moses said.

“Due to the nanobody’s unique and dual mode of action, we believe ALX-0962 could take an important share of this very large market not least by offering a treatment option to patients not eligible for currently-available IgE-inhibiting drugs.”

The company expects to begin Phase I development in the second half of 2014.

Image: Asthma obstruction of the lumen of the bronchiole. Photo: Courtesy of Yale Rosen.