AbbVie Inc. has struck two deals for compounds that would compete with marketed products against the same targets, banking that partners Ablynx N.V. and Galapagos N.V. will be able to show their compounds produce better efficacy.

Ablynx's ALX-0061 is a nanobody against IL-6 receptor (CD126) that may penetrate inflamed tissue better than traditional mAbs. If late-stage trials confirm early readouts, it would have better efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) than other biologics.