ABBV Partners With Ablynx To Develop Experimental Drug

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Biopharmaceutical research company AbbVie (ABBV) announced it has signed a global licensing agreement with Belgian drugmaker Ablynx to develop experimental drug ALX-0061.

Ablynx will receive $175 million upfront to fund clinical development and up to $665 million in potential payments and royalties pending the achievement of regulatory, commercial and sales targets.

ALX-0061 aims to treat inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, namely rheumatoid arthritis, which affects up to 1% of the adult population, and lupus, which affects 5 million people worldwide.

"We truly believe that AbbVie's significant expertise in rheumatology aligns us with the ideal partner to further progress the development of ALX-0061 and to ensure we maximize the potential of this asset," said Ablynx Chairman and CEO Edwin Moses in a joint press release.

"We are looking forward to working with Ablynx to develop a potentially new and effective therapy for patients suffering from serious chronic conditions," added Scott Brun, Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development at AbbVie.

Last week, AbbVie announced a quarterly cash dividend of 40 cents per share. During its second quarter ended June 30, 2013, the company reported revenue of $4.69 billion, up 4.4% on the year-ago quarter, and earnings per share of 82 cents, 3 cents above its guidance range.

During Friday trading, AbbVie shares were 0.93% higher, closing at $47.84. Overall, AbbVie shares outpaced the S&P 500, which was down 0.72%.

Written by Keris Alison Lahiff.

More from Markets

Oil Slumps, Gas Spikes Ahead of Holiday Weekend; Assessing the Chipmakers--ICYMI

Oil Slumps, Gas Spikes Ahead of Holiday Weekend; Assessing the Chipmakers--ICYMI

Week Ahead: Wall Street Looks to Jobs Report as North Korea Meeting Less Certain

Week Ahead: Wall Street Looks to Jobs Report as North Korea Meeting Less Certain

Dow and S&P 500 Decline, Energy Shares Fall as U.S. Crude Oil Slides 4%

Dow and S&P 500 Decline, Energy Shares Fall as U.S. Crude Oil Slides 4%

Replay: Jim Cramer on the Markets, 10-Year Yield, Oil Prices and Foot Locker

Replay: Jim Cramer on the Markets, 10-Year Yield, Oil Prices and Foot Locker

Video: You Could Live in a Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis Home

Video: You Could Live in a Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis Home