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.
Wall Street's recent fervor over biotech companies has hardly been limited to local players, and the allure of handsome valuations and easy access to capital has brought more and more European drug developers across the Atlantic with hopes becoming the next big thing in a boom market.
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.