Galapagos, Roche enter $588.7M COPD alliance

Galapagos and Roche have entered a global alliance to develop new COPD therapies in a deal worth almost $590 million (€406 million). Galapagos will use its discovery platform to identify potential COPD targets and develop small molecule candidates against the targets. Roche will select the candidates it wants to develop after either clinical candidate selection or completion of Phase I trials. The company will then be fully responsible for further development of the drugs it licenses. Galapagos gets $8.7 million (€6 million) up front and could earn an additional $580 million (€400 million) in milestones.

"This alliance with Roche on discovering novel COPD targets demonstrates the versatility of Galapagos' target discovery platform in identifying novel targets across a wide range of therapeutic areas. We are excited that this collaboration will focus on both antibodies and small molecules as potential drugs for COPD," says Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos. "Roche's vast experience in developing and commercializing antibodies makes it the perfect partner for this combined approach."

In a conference call, Stolpe touted the company's impressive list of Big Pharma partners and hinted that the Roche deal will probably not be the last of its 2010 alliances. "We're clearly the number one biotech company in the world regarding alliances with Big Pharma... we believe that this will also not be the last alliance that we will initiate," he said in Reuters. "There is clearly a chance that another deal will come through later this year."

- check out this release
- see this Reuters report for more