Belgium biopharmaceutical company Ablynx has established a beachhead in the US, setting up a new subsidiary for that market.
Ablynx, Inc will be led by newly-appointed general manager Daniel Schneider, who will be based on the east coast.
One of his priorities will be to lead the commercialisation of Ablynx’s orphan drug caplacizumab.
The company is developing the ‘nanobody’ treatment for the rare blood disorder acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP) and is on track for a regulatory submission in 2018.
Dr Edwin Moses, CEO of Ablynx, said: “The establishment of Ablynx, Inc. is an important milestone for the Company and confirms our commitment to becoming a fully integrated international biopharmaceutical company.
“[Dan] brings many years of experience in setting up commercial organisations and leading multiple successful product launches in the USA. We look forward to joining forces to further develop our commercial infrastructure in preparation of the potential launch of caplacizumab.”
The drug recently marked a big win with positive phase III data showing it reduced the time to restoring normal platelet activity – the primary endpoint – and also cut the combined outcome measure of aTTP-related death, recurrence of aTTP and/or major thromboembolic events by 74% compared to placebo.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Schneider added: “I am delighted to join Ablynx at this very important moment as the Company prepares for the potential launch of its first product. I look forward to building and leading the commercial activities in North America and contributing to the growth of the Company.”
Schneider moves to Ablynx from BTG International, where he served as general manager of its specialty pharmaceutical business unit.
Prior to that he held a number of senior commercial with Sepracor, prior to its acquisition by Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma (DSP) and Solvay Pharmaceuticals, which is now part of AbbVie.
The company plans to pour more than $500 million in additional funds into its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plant in Raheen, Limerick County, the country’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) said. The new funding brings the company’s total investment in the site to 927 million euros ($1 billion).
“If in 2005 someone told you that two-thirds of our industry would be driven on the R&D side by emerging biopharma—it would be unthinkable. If one were to project that trend forward, what it would suggest is that we could have a day when we do this talk, say in 2027 or 2028, where 80% of the industry’s pipeline is coming from emerging companies.”
The German healthcare and agrochemicals giant told Reuters that in future its pharma pipeline will focus on cardiovascular disease, neurology, rare diseases and immunology, while de-emphasizing women’s health, a field it first focused on with the acquisition of the former women’s health specialist Schering in 2006.