Ablynx IPO raises $200M for its nanobody platform effort

Belgian biotech Ablynx has lowered its share price but upsized the number of shares on offer in its US IPO, raising $200 million from its debut. And another $29 million could follow if the underwriters pick up their allotment of 1.7 million shares at the $17.50 price.

Ablynx had pencilled in a $150 million target when it filed the IPO at the beginning of this month. But these can be fast-moving figures these days as a long queue of biotechs turn to an eager investor group for more funds to do development work.

Ablynx’s European shares {$ABLX BB} surged 25% after the Belgian biotech reported at the beginning of the month that its lead drug for an ultra-rare blood clotting disease hit the primary and two key secondary endpoints in the pivotal Phase III study. And with the European application already under review with the mid-stage results, Ablynx has been lining up a US filing planned for next year.

Their drug caplacizumab targets acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP), a disorder that triggers low platelet counts. In the Phase III study, researchers reported top-line results that included a significant (p=0.01) reduction in the time it took for the platelet counts to return to normal for the drug arm — a likely indicator for the prevention of microvascular thrombosis.

Sanofi recently signed up as the latest in a lineup of partners working with Ablynx, attracted to a platform tech for small “nanobodies” which are a sliver of the size of regular antibodies — making them better built for some diseases.

That deal started with a small €23 million, expanding out to more than €2.4 billion on the back end.

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