Galapagos ditches its experimental arthritis drug

Belgian biotech company Galapagos has decided to ditch its Phase II clinical trial for its rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drug candidate GLPG0259. While tests on the first 30 patients showed the drug was safe, a review committee made up of leaders in the field of rheumatology determined that the drug was just not effective enough to justify continuing the trial, according to a Galapagos release.

While the company will decide later what to do with the drug--it'll see if it works for other indications--Galapagos will focus on other drugs in its RA program. "We will now focus on accelerating the development of our other programs," Galapagos CEO Onno van de Stolpe said in a statement.

The company said it has a large discovery pipeline in RA, including four in late stage discovery under a partnership with Janssen Pharmaceutica.

Galapagos' announcement comes the same day that Pfizer announced successful Phase II results of its RA drug tofacitinib.

- take a look at the release from Galapagos