Belgian biotech Galapagos came through with a $275 million IPO on the strength of its pipeline of immunology treatments, stirring hopes among a new crop of companies that the industry's Wall Street window will remain open through the year.
Galapagos has ratcheted up its IPO expectations for the second time in a week. The latest maximum offering is just shy of $290 million (€258 million), one-fifth of which is expected to come from potential suitors AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson.
Galapagos has increased the amount it hopes to raise in its upcoming Nasdaq IPO to $230 million (€203 million) after AbbVie placed a provisional order for a $30 million stake. The order adds a subplot to the ongoing speculation about whether AbbVie will take up its $200 million option to buy into Galapagos' rheumatoid arthritis program or acquire the company outright.
Galapagos' AbbVie-partnered rheumatoid arthritis drug hit the mark in another Phase IIb trial, stoking rumors that the Belgian biotech could be in the M&A crosshairs.
A day after Galapagos rolled out promising results for its oral rheumatoid arthritis drug filgotinib on Tuesday, the Belgian biotech confidently rolled out its plan to raise $150 million in an IPO on Nasdaq. And with topline results for a follow-up study expected in a matter of days, Galapagos says it should be poised to jump into Phase III with a $200 million licensing deal from AbbVie expected before the end of this year.
Belgium's Galapagos says that its oral JAK1 inhibitor filgotinib met its primary and other endpoints in a crucial Phase IIb study for rheumatoid arthritis.
Eight years after J&J handed over €15 million in an upfront payment to Galapagos to launch a partnership to develop anti-inflammatory drugs, the pharma giant is bowing out--the latest in a series of development setbacks at the European biotech.
A few weeks ago Belgium's Galapagos touted some early-stage data on GLPG1205, a new drug for inflammatory bowel diseases which it discovered under a $1 billion-plus partnership deal inked with J&J back in 2007. But today J&J bowed out of the pact for the entire GPR84 program, an effort that includes GLPG1205 and its backup compound GLPG2196.
GlaxoSmithKline has again scaled back its expectations for an anti-inflammatory treatment licensed from Galapagos, calling off any plans for late-stage study after a few Phase II miscues dulled the drug's potential.
Galapagos and partner GlaxoSmithKline say their anti-inflammation candidate hit its mark in a mid-stage trial on psoriasis, a stroke of good news for a drug beset by developmental slipups.