Galapagos and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics announce new drug discovery collaboration worth up to $8.1 million U.S. dollars
Mechelen, Belgium and Bethesda, Maryland, USA; 29 November 2007 â€“ Galapagos NV (Euronext & LSE: GLPG) and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. (CFFT), the non-profit affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, announced today a new collaboration aimed at discovering new treatments for cystic fibrosis. This new agreement between CFFT and Galapagosâ€™ BioFocus DPI service division is worth up to â‚¬5.5 million euros ($8.1 million U.S. dollars) for Galapagos.
The collaboration will combine two key strengths of BioFocus DPI â€“ expertise in natural product drug discovery and screening in cells derived from patients. Specifically, the collaboration aims to identify small molecules derived from natural sources that improve the function of a defective protein found in people who have cystic fibrosis. The protein is called CFTR - cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator. To advance the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis, CFFT funds promising scientific research in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and academia worldwide.
Under the terms of the agreement, Galapagos stands to receive up to â‚¬1.6 million ($2.4 million) in upfront and research fees over the next two years, and up to â‚¬3.8 million ($5.7 million) in success-based milestone payments, should certain clinical development criteria be met.
This drug discovery collaboration is in addition to an ongoing target discovery program established between CFFT and BioFocus DPI in April 2005.
â€œWe are excited to take advantage of the innovative drug discovery approach developed by BioFocus DPI and the companyâ€™s extensive expertise in natural compounds,â€ said Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. â€œBy exploring compounds derived from natural sources, our goal is to increase the number and diversity of drug candidates in development to treat cystic fibrosis.â€
â€œThe CFFT drug discovery collaboration is a prime example of the kind of innovation we aimed to achieve through our acquisition strategy,â€ said Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos. â€œWe have seen a growing interest in natural product based drug discovery since acquiring these capabilities last year. By combining this expertise with our know-how in cell-based screening, we are confident that we will contribute to the advancement of CFFTâ€™s drug discovery program in novel ways.â€
About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States and 70,000 people worldwide. A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections and obstructs the pancreas, causing difficulty in absorbing food. In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, due to advances in treatment and care, the predicted median age of survival is 37.
About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the leading organization devoted to curing and controlling cystic fibrosis. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation funds CF research, has 80 chapter and branch offices in the United States, and supports and accredits a nationwide network of 115 CF care centers, which provide vital treatments and other CF resources to patients and families. For more information, visit www.cff.org.
Galapagos (Euronext Brussels, GLPG; Euronext Amsterdam, GLPGA; London AiM: GLPG) is a drug discovery company with pre-clinical programs in bone and joint diseases and cachexia. Its division BioFocus DPI offers a full suite of target-to-drug discovery products and services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies, encompassing target discovery and validation, screening and drug discovery through to delivery of pre-clinical candidates. BioFocus DPI also provides adenoviral reagents for rapid identification and validation of novel drug targets, compound libraries for drug screening as well as chemogenomics and ADMET database products to select targets and compounds. Galapagos currently employs 460 people and operates facilities in seven countries, with global headquarters in Mechelen, Belgium. More information about Galapagos and BioFocus DPI can be found at www.glpg.com and www.biofocusdpi.com.
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