Understanding Nanobodies

What are Nanobodies?

Nanobodies® are a novel class of proprietary therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments that contain the unique structural and functional properties of naturally-occurring heavy chain only antibodies.

Ablynx’s proprietary Nanobody platform allows for the rapid generation and large-scale production of novel biological therapeutics that have potential in a wide range of human diseases.



The Nanobody technology was originally developed following the discovery and identification that camelidae (e.g. camels and llamas) possess fully functional antibodies that consist of heavy chains only and therefore lack light chains. These heavy-chain only antibodies contain a single variable domain(VHH) and two constant domains (CH2, CH3).

The cloned and isolated single variable domains have full antigen binding capacity and are very stable. These single variable domains, with their unique structural and functional properties, form the basis of a new generation of therapeutic molecules which Ablynx has named “Nanobodies”.

Due to their small size and unique structure, Nanobodies are ideal building blocks for the generation of novel biological drugs with multiple competitive advantages over other therapeutic molecules.

Ablynx's Nanobody

  • small
  • robust
  • sequence homology comparable to humanised/human mAbs
  • easily linked together
  • nano- to picomolar affinities
  • intractable targets
  • multiple administration routes
  • manufacturing in microbial cells
nano video