Belgian biotech Galapagos is shutting down an ulcerative colitis program after its top prospect failed to make a difference in a Phase II trial, putting off plans for late-stage development as the company weighs whether to move forward in another disease.
Galapagos has kicked off a Phase I trial of its AbbVie-partnered cystic fibrosis (CF) drug, GLPG2222. The start of the trial marks another milestone in the rolling advance of Galapagos' multipronged attack on CF, which is set to be bolstered later this year by the emergence of more next-generation correctors.
Less than three months after AbbVie turned its back on Galapagos and a $1.4 billion deal for the late-stage autoimmune drug filgotinib, Gilead Sciences has stepped in with $725 million in cash and up to $1.35 billion in milestones to take its place in the partnership.
Galapagos, on the rebound after losing some key partnerships, reported positive Phase II results for its lead drug in Crohn's disease, paving a path to late-stage development.
Galapagos has outlined how it plans to move forward in cystic fibrosis with AbbVie in the wake of the shock collapse of the partners' rheumatoid arthritis collaboration. The plan is to advance the third component of a triple-combination therapy into the clinic next year, setting the partners up to trial a cocktail intended to hit multiple targets of relevance to cystic fibrosis.
Galapagos is looking to bounce back quickly from AbbVie's decision to walk away from their rheumatoid arthritis alliance. The aim is to have a new partnership deal in place by the end of the year, giving Galapagos the support it needs to go head-to-head with ally-turned-rival AbbVie in the scrap for the rheumatoid arthritis market.
AbbVie is backing out of a roughly $1.4 billion deal with Galapagos, picking an internal rheumatoid arthritis treatment over the one it licensed from the Belgian biotech.
Galapagos has started the countdown to the day on which AbbVie must decide whether to hand over $200 million (€181 million) in exchange for its Phase III-ready rheumatoid arthritis drug. The timer started ticking down this week when Galapagos handed over the final Phase II data set.
Galapagos has presented a surprise-free update on the trial of its AbbVie-partnered rheumatoid arthritis drug, filgotinib. The data led observers to cut the odds of AbbVie of taking up its $200 million (€182 million) buy-in option--or even making a bid to acquire Galapagos outright--and led to the company's stock hitting an all-time high on Euronext Amsterdam.
Galapagos is moving into new digs on the outskirts of Paris. The relocation sees 130 staff move from three locations across the Biocitech campus Sanofi founded in 2002 to a newly refurbished building on the site that houses a mix of biology and chemistry laboratories.