Mechelen, Belgium and Bristol, United Kingdom; 15 February 2007 – Galapagos NV (Euronext & LSE: GLPG) and the University of Bristol today announced a new drug discovery collaboration in the field of cancer research. Galapagos’ service division BioFocus DPI will provide lead optimization services for a University of Bristol research program focusing on destroying cancer cells. Total contract value for Galapagos exceeds €2 million in research fees over two years.
Scientists at ProXara Biotechnology Ltd, a spin-out from the University of Bristol, have discovered drug-like compounds that prevent PKB activation and that make tumour cells commit suicide. The University of Bristol has recently been awarded a €4.3 million research grant from the Wellcome Trust’s Seeding Drug Discovery Initiative to take this research programme forward. BioFocus DPI will apply its lead optimization expertise and its Admensa technology to help the University of Bristol team optimize these drug-like compounds and select a candidate for clinical trials.
“This new collaboration with the University of Bristol validates the strategy behind the Inpharmatica acquisition,” said Onno van de Stolpe, Chief Executive Officer of Galapagos. “The combination of Inpharmatica’s Admensa and our medicinal chemistry expertise is a powerful drug discovery tool.”
“The innovation of BioFocus DPI’s scientists, together with the support of the Wellcome Trust, will help us to accelerate development of our anti-cancer compounds,” said Professor Jeremy Tavaré of the University of Bristol’s Department of Biochemistry.
About protein kinase B
All cells in the human body contain protein kinase B, a naturally occurring enzyme that, if active, prevents cells from committing suicide. Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, is an important process in the body’s development but, when this process goes wrong, unregulated cell growth occurs, leading to the development of tumours.
Galapagos (Euronext Brussels, GLPG; Euronext Amsterdam, GLPGA; London AiM: GLPG) is a drug discovery company with clinical and pre-clinical programs in bone and joint diseases, cachexia, and menopausal hot flashes. Its division BioFocus DPI 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 ADME database products to select targets and compounds. Galapagos currently employs 450 people and operates facilities in eight countries, with global headquarters in Mechelen, Belgium. More information about Galapagos and BioFocus DPI can be found at www.glpg.com.
About the University of Bristol Department of Biochemistry
The University of Bristol is one of the leading research universities in the UK, having an excellent national and international reputation in research, teaching and global discovery. The University is committed to combining its excellence in research and innovation with a vibrant enterprise culture and is working with government, industry and other partner organisations to encourage the growth of knowledge-based business in the South West.
The Department of Biochemistry obtained the maximum 5*A rating in the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), whilst in the most recent assessment of teaching quality and student support, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) awarded the Department a score of 24 out of 24. Taken together, these make Bristol one of the two most highly-rated University Biochemistry Departments in the UK. More information can be found at www.bris.ac.uk/biochemistry.
About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is the largest charity in the UK and the second largest medical research charity in the world. It funds innovative biomedical research, in the UK and internationally, spending around €750 million each year to support the brightest scientists with the best ideas. The Wellcome Trust’s Seeding Drug Discovery initiative aims to bridge the funding gap in early-stage drug discovery, assisting researchers in academia or companies to take forward projects in small molecule therapeutics that will be the springboard for further research and development by the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. More information on the Wellcome Trust can be found at www.wellcome.ac.uk.
Onno van de Stolpe, CEO
Tel: +31 6 2909 8028
University of Bristol
Sadia Haq, Enterprise Marketing Manager
Tel: +44 117 331 7631
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