MECHELEN, Belgium, Jan. 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Galapagos NV (Euronext: GLPG) announces that the Flemish Agency for Innovation through Science and Technology (IWT) has awarded a €2.5 million grant to support the development of Galapagos' novel antibiotics in a collaboration project with Prof. Goossens from the University of Antwerp (UA).
GLPG1492 ('1492) is a narrow spectrum antibiotic with a novel mode-of-action against all Staphylococcus aureas strains, including MRSA, the bacteria for which due to resistance, few treatment options are available. Galapagos plans for '1492 to be dosed in healthy volunteers (Phase 1) in 2015. '1492 has shown excellent antibacterial efficacy, with broad coverage of all known MRSA strains. The novel mode of action for '1492 can be utilized as a platform for addressing gram positive and gram negative bacteria that pose major public health threats, including the ESKAPE pathogens. '1492 is fully proprietary to Galapagos.
Today's grant, awarded via the transformational medical research (TGO) program, was for the project 'Partnering tiered clinical Phase II anti-MRSA antibiotic with rapid diagnostic test development,' in which Galapagos will collaborate with the Laboratory of Medical Microbiology of UA. In this project, innovative clinical research will be explored, allowing for more efficient development of narrow spectrum antibiotics targeted at combatting resistance. To further support the pathogenic focus, rapid diagnostic test development will be set up. The UA will perform basic research focusing on further understanding of antibiotic resistance mechanisms.
"We appreciate the support of the IWT for our research," said Dr Piet Wigerinck, Chief Scientific Officer of Galapagos. "There is a large unmet medical need for small spectrum antibiotics addressing MRSA and other major public health threats."
Herman Goossens, Head of the Microbiology laboratory of the UA, commented: "By funding this Public Private Partnership between Galapagos and the UA, we should be able to give fresh impetus to the successful development of new drugs against multi-resistant bugs that have already killed so many people worldwide."
About antibiotic resistance and MRSA
Hospital-treated infections of highly resistant bacteria pose a major public health threat. Widespread use of broad spectrum antibiotics addressing a wide variety of pathogens has led to resistance to these treatments. When broad spectrum treatment does not work, the patient is treated in the hospital with small spectrum antibiotics directed specifically toward the pathogen infecting the patient. Due to increasing resistance to broad spectrum antibiotics, the drug market for key hospital-treated infections is expected to increase from $3.3 billion in 2010 to just over $4 billion in 2020 in the USA, the EU and Japan. In particular, there is an urgent need to provide tools to prevent MRSA to become a community acquired infection. Availability of a novel drug that would be able to treat MRSA would be an added value for the public health sector by being able to limit hospitalization time as well the positive impact on the mortality numbers and to avoid further spread.
Galapagos (Euronext: GLPG; OTC: GLPYY) is specialized in novel modes-of-action, with a large pipeline comprising three Phase 2 programs, two Phase 1 studies, five pre-clinical, and 25 discovery small-molecule and antibody programs in cystic fibrosis, inflammation, antibiotics, metabolic disease, and other indications. In the field of inflammation, AbbVie and Galapagos signed an agreement for the development and commercialization of GLPG0634. GLPG0634 is an orally-available, selective inhibitor of JAK1 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and potentially other inflammatory diseases, currently in Phase 2B studies in RA and in Phase 2 in Crohn's disease. Galapagos has another selective JAK1 inhibitor, GSK2586184 (formerly GLPG0778, in-licensed by GlaxoSmithKline in 2012). GLPG1205, a first-in-class inhibitor of GPR84, is currently being tested in a Phase 2 Proof-of-Concept study in ulcerative colitis patients. GLPG1690 is a first-in-class compound that targets pulmonary diseases and is currently in a Phase 1 study. AbbVie and Galapagos signed an agreement in cystic fibrosis to develop and commercialize molecules that address mutations in the CFTR gene. Potentiator GLPG1837 is currently in Phase 1, and corrector GLPG2222 is at the pre-clinical candidate stage. The Galapagos Group, including fee-for-service subsidiary Fidelta, has around 400 employees, operating from its Mechelen, Belgium headquarters and facilities in The Netherlands, France, and Croatia. Further information at: www.glpg.com