AbbVie continues deal spree with $405M CF tie-up with Galapagos

A day after AbbVie unveiled an $840 million tie-up to develop a new anti-inflammatory therapy, the pharma company ($ABBV) is continuing its deal spree today with a $405 million discovery pact on cystic fibrosis with Belgium's Galapagos.

AbbVie wants to whip up some new programs that target the main mutations present in the cystic fibrosis population, with an eye to getting into the clinic next year. Galapagos gets a $45 million upfront with $360 million in a range of milestones.

Galapagos has been working with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation since 2005 and tapped CF as its first orphan disease focus in 2010. The European biotech has also been working with AbbVie, spotlighting a JAK1 inhibitor for rheumatoid arthritis and expanding that deal to include Crohn's.

For AbbVie it's another opportunity to expand its pipeline in an effort to find a way to diversify its marketing effort. AbbVie relies on the megablockbuster Humira for most of its revenue, which makes analysts uneasy every time they inspect the numbers. For Galapagos the deal marks a further expansion of its already ambitious partnering effort. Galapagos has deals in place with GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), J&J ($JNJ) and Servier in addition to AbbVie.

"We're pleased to enhance our partnership with Galapagos to include research in cystic fibrosis, a debilitating disease with significant unmet medical need. Our knowledge of the patient experience, combined with innovative advances in the understanding of disease etiology, offers the potential for new transformational treatments," said Jim Sullivan, vice president, pharmaceutical discovery, AbbVie.

- here's the press release