Mechelen, Belgium and Los Angeles, USA; 29 October 2008 – Galapagos NV (Euronext: GLPG) and CHDI Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization pursuing treatments for Huntington’s disease (HD), announced today new collaboration agreements focused on developing novel assays for drug discovery and evaluating known compounds as potentially new therapeutic approaches for HD. Total value of the contracts for Galapagos is $1 million (€0.8 million) over 1.5 years.
Galapagos’ service division, BioFocus DPI, will develop a high throughput screening assay in mouse neurons that will enable the identification of compounds that prevent neuronal dysfunction associated with HD. BioFocus DPI will also make use of its expertise in profiling and assay development to evaluate known compounds inhibiting certain enzymes playing key roles in HD. These new programs continue the collaboration started in August 2005.
“The new programs initiated with CHDI demonstrate how innovative BioFocus DPI is in its drug discovery expertise,” said Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos. “With its growing list of patient organizations in the client base, our service division continues to build on its reputation for high quality drug discovery.”
“Galapagos demonstrated its capabilities in our target discovery collaboration, which encouraged us to choose BioFocus DPI for these new programs,” added Ignacio Munoz, Vice-President of Biology at CHDI.
About Huntington’s Disease
Huntington’s disease is a familial disease caused by a mutation in the huntington gene. Each child of a parent with a mutation in the huntingtin gene has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the mutation. As a result of carrying the mutation, an individual’s brain cells fail and die leading to cognitive and physical impairments that, over the course of the disease, significantly impair the individual’s quality of life and ultimately causes death. Symptoms of Huntington’s disease, which generally develop in midlife and become progressively more debilitating as time passes, can also develop in infancy or old age. Once overt symptoms start, patients live for about 15 to 20 years. One person in 10,000 is believed to carry a mutation in the huntingtin gene. There is currently no way to delay the onset of symptoms or slow the progression of Huntington’s disease.
About CHDI Foundation, Inc.
CHDI is a non-profit organization with a mission to rapidly discover and develop drugs that delay or slow Huntington’s disease. CHDI supports an international network of research laboratories from academia and industry pursuing novel therapies for the treatment of Huntington’s disease. As a collaborative enabler, CHDI seeks to bring the right partners together to identify and address critical scientific issues and move drug candidates to clinical evaluation as quickly as possible. More information about CHDI can be found at www.chdifoundation.org.
About Galapagos and BioFocus DPI
Galapagos (Euronext Brussels: GLPG; Euronext Amsterdam: GLPGA; OTC: GLPYY) is a drug discovery company with pre-clinical programs in bone and joint diseases and bone metastasis. Its BioFocus DPI division offers a full suite of target-to-drug discovery products and services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies, encompassing target discovery and validation, screening and drug discovery through to delivery of pre-clinical candidates. BioFocus DPI also provides adenoviral reagents for rapid identification and validation of novel drug targets, compound libraries for drug screening as well as chemogenomics and ADMET database products to select targets and compounds. Galapagos currently employs about 500 people and operates facilities in six countries, with global headquarters in Mechelen, Belgium. More information about Galapagos and BioFocus DPI can be found at www.glpg.com and www.biofocusdpi.com.
Onno van de Stolpe, CEO
Tel: +31 6 2909 8028
CHDI Foundation, Inc.
Bonnie Lee La Madeleine, Communications Director
Tel: +1 310 342 5524
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