Galapagos and Arthrogen enter target discovery alliance
Mechelen, Belgium; 30 March 2006 - Galapagos NV (Euronext & LSE: GLPG) announced today that its service division BioFocus has entered into a three-year target discovery alliance with Arthrogen BV, a joint venture of the Dubai Bone & Joint Center and the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. The alliance focuses on identifying novel targets for gene therapy applications in rheumatoid arthritis. Under the terms of the agreement, BioFocus will extend its SilenceSelect® collection with new gene sets, set up cellular assays and screen the expanded SilenceSelect collection in the assays. The human protein targets identified in the screens will then be characterized and validated. In return, Galapagos will receive from Arthrogen an upfront payment and R&D funding and will be eligible for development milestones. Should all criteria on a target be achieved, revenues for Galapagos with respect to such target may exceed € 7.5 million. Additionally, Galapagos is entitled to receive royalties on any marketed products that may arise from the alliance.
“This collaboration with Arthrogen again demonstrates the power of our SilenceSelect target discovery engine,” said Onno van de Stolpe, Chief Executive Officer of Galapagos. “We look forward to working with Arthrogen to identify successful targets for their rheumatoid arthritis gene therapy programs.”
“Arthrogen strongly believes that the dedicated target discovery technologies from Galapagos will increase the quantity and the quality of Arthrogen’s product pipeline, and will accelerate Arthrogen’s programs to bring innovative local gene therapy products for rheumatoid arthritis to the clinic and the market,” said Willem van Oort, Chief Executive Officer of Arthrogen.
About SilenceSelect discovery technology
The SilenceSelect target discovery platform is based on adenoviruses that efficiently introduce human gene sequences into a wide variety of human cells to knock-down specific proteins. High-throughput assays that represent a selected human disease state are then used to functionally select for those proteins that have a causative effect in those models of human disease. After rigorous validation of these protein targets, they form the basis for the development of novel drugs.
Galapagos is a publicly traded, genomics-based drug discovery company (Euronext Brussels, GLPG; Euronext Amsterdam, GLPGA, London AiM: GLPG) that has drug discovery programs based on proprietary, novel targets in bone and joint diseases - osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Galapagos offers a full suite of target-to-drug discovery products and services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies through its division BioFocus, encompassing target discovery and validation, and drug discovery services through to delivery of pre-clinical candidates. In addition, BioFocus provides adenoviral reagents for rapid identification and validation of novel drug targets and compound libraries for screening. Galapagos currently employs more than 210 people, including 80 PhDs, and occupies facilities in Mechelen, Belgium, Saffron Walden, UK and Leiden, The Netherlands. Partners of Galapagos include Amgen, AstraZeneca, BASF, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, GlaxoSmithKline, Idenix, Novartis, Organon, Roche, Serono, Vertex, and Wyeth. More information about Galapagos and BioFocus can be found at www.glpg.com.
Arthrogen was founded in 2005 as a joint venture between the Dubai Bone & Joint Center (DBAJ) in the United Arab Emirates and the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Arthrogen is working on the development of innovative local gene therapy for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The stable transfer of a therapeutic gene to a joint allows intra-articular synthesis of the protein at the site of inflammation for a sustained period of time, without significant systemic side-effects. The main focus is on disease-regulated expression of therapeutic genes using adeno-associated virus (AAV) as vector. The core business is the development of new, optimized vectors and the validation of therapeutic genes in animal models of arthritis. Having access to a large, state-of-the art animal facility, GMP manufacturing facilities, and with the cooperation of AMC’s Department of Clinical Immunology & Rheumatology, Arthrogen is able to develop viral gene therapy technology into the clinic on a relatively short term. Initiation of clinical trials will take place in close cooperation with the AMC and DBAJ. Arthrogen balances risk by building a broad pipeline of products. More information about Arthrogen can be found at www.arthrogen.nl.
- Contact Information
- Onno van de Stolpe,
- Galapagos NV
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