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Galapagos was founded in 1999 as a joint venture between Crucell and Tibotec. In May 2005, the Company listed on Euronext Brussels and Amsterdam (ticker symbol: GLPG). In 2006, Galapagos acquired ProSkelia in Romainville, France, obtaining R&D operations there. In 2010, Galapagos acquired the Zagreb research operations from GSK; this site became Fidelta, a drug discovery fee-for-service business within the Galapagos group. Fidelta was subsequently acquired by Selvita in 2020.

In 2014 Galapagos sold fee-for-service businesses BioFocus and Argenta to Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., giving Galapagos a sole focus on the development and execution of a broad and deep R&D pipeline based on novel mechanisms-of-action. 

Galapagos listed on the US NASDAQ (ticker symbol: GLPG) in May 2015.

In 2015, Galapagos signed a collaboration agreement with Gilead for the development and commercialization of filgotinib.

In 2019, Galapagos entered into a transformative 10-year global research and development collaboration with Gilead.

In 2020, Jyseleca® was granted marketing authorization for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the EU and Japan, marking Galapagos’ transition to commercial-stage biotech.