In an almost completely back-ended research deal, Belgium's Galapagos will rev up its drug discovery engine in search of new cancer treatments for France's Servier. Working with some established cancer drug targets, Galapagos will get €2 million upfront as a research access fee as it hunts up new small molecules that can treat cancer. Once it's done with the preclinical work, Servier will have an option to license the programs with a combined €260 million-$364 million-in a slate of milestones.
"Galapagos continues to deliver the innovation that research-based pharma companies are seeking to complement their pipelines. In this new alliance, Servier and Galapagos combine both their oncology targets and their capabilities in cancer drug discovery," said Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos. "Similar to our osteoarthritis alliance with Servier, Galapagos retains the U.S. rights, which represents a large potential, considering the unmet medical need in cancer."
It's been a busy year for Galapagos, which lost Merck near the beginning of 2011 as a partner on a number of development projects, extended a deal with Genentech a few weeks ago and recently had to scuttle an experimental arthritis treatment on disappointing mid-stage results. Galapagos struck a $588 million COPD pact with Roche in early 2010. The European developer also raised $43 million last fall to fund new acquisitions.
- here's the Servier release