Sonelokimab: a novel investigational Nanobody® for the treatment of inflammatory disease

Nanobodies® represent a new generation of antibody-derived targeted therapies. They consist of one or more domains based on the small antigen-binding variable regions of heavy-chain-only antibodies (VHH).

Nanobodies® have a number of potential advantages over traditional antibodies, including their small size, enhanced tissue penetration, resistance to temperature changes, ease of manufacturing, and the ability to design multivalent therapeutic molecules with bespoke target combinations.

Sonelokimab is a novel ~40 kDa humanized Nanobody® consisting of three VHH domains covalently linked by flexible spacers. With two domains, sonelokimab selectively binds with high affinity to IL-17A and IL-17F, thereby inhibiting the naturally occurring IL-17A/A, IL‑17A/F, and IL-17F/F dimers that are central drivers of inflammatory disease. A third central domain binds to human albumin, facilitating further enrichment of sonelokimab at sites of inflammatory edema.

Sonelokimab is designed to more directly target sites of inflammation and penetrate difficult-to-reach inflamed tissues by synergistically combining the power of Nanobody® technology with optimized inhibition of the IL-17 inflammatory pathway to move the clinical paradigm beyond traditional antibodies.

The terms Nanobody® and Nanobodies® are trademarks of Ablynx, a Sanofi company. Sonelokimab is not yet approved for use in any indication.
References: Papp KA, et al. Lancet. 2021; 397:1564-1575; Svecova D. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019;81:196–203

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It’s all about the dimers!