Mechelen, Belgium; 21 May 2007 – Galapagos NV (Euronext & LSE: GLPG) announces that its service division BioFocus DPI has signed agreements with Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT) and the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). Dr Katherine Hilyard has been appointed as Vice President, Biological Sciences for BioFocus DPI. Furthermore, Galapagos announces that it has recruited Clinquest for assisting the Company in preparation of its clinical trials for its bone & joint pipeline. Dr Cees Wortel from Clinquest will operate as Acting Chief Medical Officer for Galapagos.
BioFocus DPI and CRT have extended the anti-cancer drug discovery collaboration initially announced in January 2006. Under the terms of the extension, Galapagos’ service division BioFocus DPI will perform medicinal chemistry services on a series of CRT anti-cancer drug programs. In return, CRT will fund the research of four BioFocus DPI scientists for one year.
BioFocus DPI and the URMC have entered a new collaboration in the field of neuroAIDS drug discovery research. The UMRC has selected BioFocus DPI to develop assays, perform screening, hit characterization and hit-to-lead medicinal chemistry work. This collaboration is envisioned to run for three years, with a contract value exceeding €500,000 for BioFocus DPI in the first year. The URMC was recently awarded a $7 million grant from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to discover new treatments for neuroAIDS (HIV-related nerve damage).
In line with the progression of the Company’s development programs towards the clinical testing phase, Galapagos has recruited Clinquest Inc. (Boston, USA) for assisting the Company in the preparations to enter its bone & joint programs into the clinic. Dr Cees Wortel, CEO of Clinquest Group will be Acting Chief Medical Officer for Galapagos. In this role, Dr Wortel will be responsible for the design and implementation of the clinical trials for Galapagos’ bone and joint disease programs which are scheduled to start in 2008. Cees Wortel, MD PhD, has over 19 years of product development experience with pharmaceutical and biotech companies, including Centocor and Alkermes.
Katherine Hilyard, PhD, has been appointed Vice President Biological Sciences for BioFocus DPI and will be leading the biology activities at BioFocus DPI. She reports to Chris Newton, PhD, Senior Vice President BioFocus DPI. Her appointment strengthens the operational management of all three BioFocus DPI divisions which have biology as their core technology. Dr Hilyard trained at the universities of Bristol, Oxford and Harvard and has 11 years industrial experience with pharma and biotech, including Hoffmann-La Roche and Cambridge Antibody Technology (as Director of Discovery Biology).
“Extending our relationship with CRT as well as obtaining this new collaboration with the University of Rochester testifies to our ability to deliver on projects. The expertise of our biologists and chemists have been paramount to winning and maintaining contracts,” said CEO of Galapagos Onno van de Stolpe. “The appointment of Kate Hilyard and recruitment of Clinquest are key developments for Galapagos and add breadth of experience in this exciting phase of growth.”
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 ADMET database products to select targets and compounds. Galapagos currently employs 450 people and operates facilities in eight countries, with global headquarters in Mechelen, Belgium.
Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT) is a specialist commercialization and development company, which aims to develop new discoveries in cancer research for the benefit of cancer patients. CRT works closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. CRT facilitates the discovery, development and marketing of new cancer therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics and enabling technologies. CRT is wholly owned by Cancer Research UK, the largest independent funder of cancer research in the world.
The University of Rochester Medical Center is comprised of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the School of Nursing, Strong Memorial Hospital, Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong, the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group, and Dentistry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The School of Medicine and Dentistry ranks among the top 10 percent of medical schools for primary care, and is among the top 25 percent of medical schools in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. In the most recent visit from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the school received a perfect score, giving Rochester the highest possible accreditation status for a medical school. Full, five-year accreditation with no citations is an achievement earned by few American medical schools. With more than $140 million in NIH research grants, the medical center also ranks in the top one-quarter of all US medical centers in federally funded research.
About Clinquest Group
The Clinquest Group is a trusted healthcare product development organization, which offers comprehensive services to the bio-pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostics and medical data industries worldwide. Clinquest provides high-level strategic consulting as well as hands-on implementation services. Clinquest is recognized as a leader in the development of new, breakthrough technologies, first-in-man clinical trials and complex clinical studies. The Clinquest Group operates through three wholly-owned subsidiaries: Clinquest Inc., Clinquest Europe and Clinquest Pharmaceutical Innovations. Clinquest has offices in the Netherlands, the USA and Singapore.
Onno van de Stolpe, CEO
Tel: +31 6 2909 8028
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