Galapagos was founded in 1999 as a joint venture between Crucell and Tibotec. From the start, Galapagos has operated a hybrid business model, combining internal discovery programs with service activities. In 2002 the Company raised €23.4 million in a private placement. In May 2005, the Company raised €22.4 million through an initial public offering on Euronext Brussels and Amsterdam (ticker symbol: GLPG). Galapagos raised an additional €90 million through private placements in 2006, 2009 and 2010 and a further €4.4 million through an equity investment by GlaxoSmithKline in 2007. Through a Level 1 ADR listing in the US, Galapagos is traded on the U.S. OTC market under the ticker symbol GLPYY. Euronext Liffe initiated trading in options for the Galapagos ordinary share on 30 April 2013, under the ticker symbol GLS.
In December 2006 Galapagos acquired ProSkelia in Romainville, France, from ProStrakan via an all-share transaction. With ProSkelia, Galapagos obtained R&D operations and a product portfolio of products focused on musculoskeletal diseases (osteoporosis, cachexia and bone metastasis).
Galapagos has entered into long term alliances for the majority of its research programs with top ten pharma companies. These risk sharing alliances enable Galapagos to build a pipeline of more than 20 programs, based predominantly on proprietary targets that the Company has identified. Through this alliance strategy, Galapagos is eligible to receive in excess of €2 billion in success-dependent milestone revenue plus up to double-digit royalties on commercial products.
In October 2005 Galapagos acquired BioFocus, a drug discovery company based in Saffron Walden, UK. In 2006, Galapagos acquired the drug discovery operations of Discovery Partners International and UK-based Inpharmatica Ltd. Galapagos acquired the structure-based drug discovery business of Sareum Holdings plc in 2008. These strategic acquisitions enable BioFocus to offer a full suite of target-to-candidate drug discovery products and services, encompassing target discovery and validation, screening and drug discovery through to delivery of pre-clinical candidates.
In February 2010, Galapagos acquired Argenta's service operations. Together, Argenta and BioFocus form one of the world's largest drug discovery service organizations, with 350 employees, an estimated €70 M in annual turnover and significant profitability.
In September 2010, Galapagos acquired GlaxoSmithKline’s former research center in Zagreb, Croatia. The integrated capabilities at the Zagreb site allowed Galapagos to resource entire research programs from hit molecules through to the clinic for its internal R&D programs. In January 2013, Galapagos decided to change the focus of the Zagreb organization to external outsourcing, creating a third fee-for-service operation called Fidelta.