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Sanofi exercises option to license 2 additional nanobodies from Ablynx

French drugmaker Sanofi exercised an option to license two additional nanobodies from Ablynx NV.

The Paris-based drugmaker agreed to acquire Ablynx for €3.9 billion in January, about six months after the parties entered a collaboration to develop and commercialize nanobody-based therapeutics for treating immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.

Ablynx will receive €13 million as a result of the exercise, which will add up to the €23 million received previously under the collaboration.

"The decision to select two additional nanobody target combinations following the initial selection of three target combinations demonstrates the strong commitment of both parties to developing novel therapeutic options for patients suffering from a range of inflammatory diseases," Ablynx CEO Edwin Moses said in a statement.

Sanofi can select up to eight nanobodies for development under the collaboration. Ablynx will be eligible to receive up to €2.4 billion in milestone-related payments plus royalties on the sales of any products originating from the collaboration.

In separate news, Ablynx said Bo Jesper Hansen resigned from the company's board for personal reasons.

Hansen joined the Belgian company's board in 2013 as a permanent representative of Orfacare Consulting GmbH.

He will be succeeded by Russell Greig who has been a nonexecutive director of Ablynx since 2012. A permanent representative of Greig Biotechnology Global Consulting Inc., Greig has also been elected as the chairman of Ablynx's board.