Ablynx of Belgium says that it enjoyed a year of "strong operational and financial progress".

The Ghent-based group has posted revenue growth of 22% to 26.7 million euros, while net loss was cut by 35% to 28.5 million euros and operating expenses decreased 16% to 56.3 million euros. Ablynx said its cash burn was "well-controlled" at just 21.1 million euros and the firm ended the year with cash and equivalents of 62.8 million euros.

Ablynx specialises in nanobodies, a class of antibody-derived therapeutic proteins, and says its first nanobody, ALX-0171 for respiratory syncytial virus disease, was successfully delivered directly into the lungs using a nebuliser in 2012. The second clinical proof-of-concept for nanobodies was achieved with the rheumatoid arthritis anti-IL-6R product.

In November, Ablynx entered into a feasibility study with Algeta to explore the use of nanobodies in radio-immunotherapy for oncology and just this week inked a deal with Spirogen to evaluate the potential of toxin-nanobody drug conjugates in cancer. Chief executive Edwin Moses said 2012 was "an excellent and rewarding year across all areas of our business [and] we were able to further demonstrate the power and broad applicability of the nanobody platform".

He added that during the coming year, "we anticipate important new partnering deals and advances in existing collaborations as some of our partnered programmes move into clinical development".