Galapagos ships out its CRO biz for $179M to focus on R&D

Belgian biotech Galapagos is getting out of the CRO business, selling off its two contract units to preclinical giant Charles River Laboratories ($CRL) for $179 million and planning to put the proceeds into its pipeline. Under the deal, Charles River will take over Galapagos' Argenta and BioFocus segments, two CROs that accounted for $87 million in sales last year. The move is part of Galapagos' plan to transition from a hybrid biotech to an R&D-focused drug developer, CEO Onno van de Stolpe said, and the company will retain about 400 employees once the sale closes next quarter. Leading the Galapagos' pipeline is GLPG0634, a Phase II treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease partnered up with AbbVie ($ABBV), followed by GSK2586184, a JAK1 inhibitor inhibitor that has run into some trouble in mid-stage studies on lupus and ulcerative colitis run by teammate GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK). Read more

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misidentified one of Galapagos' pipeline drugs. We regret the error.