Roche dumps fibrosis alliance with Belgian biotech

Swiss drug giant Roche ($RHHBY) has exited an alliance with Belgium-based biotech Galapagos that focused on fibrosis discovery, leaving Galapagos hunting for another partner to hunt for compounds against fibrotic diseases. On its way out, Roche is forking over €5.75 million to Galapagos for the biotech's efforts through 2012, increasing the total payments from the alliance to €16 million, according to the company. "We regret that Roche ended the alliance due to a strategic change, but the good news is that all assets have returned to Galapagos," said Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos, in a statement. Fibrotic diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis have been a hot area of drug development among biopharma players, including Biogen Idec ($BIIB), Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) and Novartis ($NVS). There are no approved treatments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in the U.S. Release