Mechelen, Belgium; 24 October 2007 – Galapagos NV (Euronext and LSE: GLPG) announced today that it has entered into a worldwide multi-target alliance with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV (‘Janssen’), a Johnson & Johnson company, to discover and develop novel small-molecule therapeutics for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Under the alliance agreement, Janssen may select up to 12 programs from Galapagos’ internally identified RA targets into the alliance. Janssen receives future option rights to exclusively license these programs. In addition, Janssen obtained an option to the future development and commercialization of product candidates from Galapagos’ other internal RA programs, including its most advanced program based on the kinase target GT418. A compound from this proprietary drug discovery program is expected to enter Phase I clinical trials in 2008.
Terms of the agreement
With the signing of the agreement, Janssen will make an initial up-front cash payment of €15 million to Galapagos. In addition, Janssen will make a €2 million milestone payment for the selection of GT146, one of Galapagos’ advanced RA programs, into the alliance.
Under the alliance agreement, Galapagos will be responsible for the discovery of small molecule product candidates for those novel, validated RA targets that are chosen by Janssen. Galapagos will develop product candidates through to Phase IIa Proof of Concept (POC) clinical trials. During the term of the collaboration, Galapagos is eligible to receive success-based progress milestones from Janssen. Upon Galapagos’ achievement of POC for a product candidate, Janssen has an exclusive option to license the product candidate from each alliance program and will then assume full responsibility for further clinical development and worldwide commercialization, at its expense. For each alliance program licensed by Janssen, contingent on discovery, development and regulatory accomplishments, Galapagos could receive option exercise fees and milestone payments up to €73 million, plus royalties on net sales of each approved new RA drug.
In addition to performing research on the alliance RA targets, Galapagos will continue to perform the R&D activities for its internal RA programs, including its most advanced program GT418, at its own expense up to clinical POC, subject to an exclusive option by Janssen. Janssen’s license option for the Galapagos drug will become exercisable upon successful completion of Phase IIa clinical trial by Galapagos. Should Janssen elect to exercise the option, a non-refundable exercise fee of €60 million will be paid and thereafter Janssen would be responsible for the development and global commercialization, at its expense. Galapagos could be eligible to receive up to €430 million in development and regulatory milestones payments should more than one product be approved for several indications in major markets. Furthermore, if a licensed product is commercialized, Galapagos could receive up to €346 million of one-time sales milestones upon the achievement of predetermined sales levels and receive double-digit royalties on worldwide sales.
“This deal will provide us with the resources to broaden our product pipeline in RA, exploiting the full value of our portfolio of proprietary targets. It will increase the chances of bringing a disease modifying drug against rheumatoid arthritis to the market,” stated Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos. “Janssen’s vast experience in clinical development and commercialization in rheumatoid arthritis make Janssen the perfect partner for this program.”
Development status of Galapagos R&D program in RA
Galapagos is a drug discovery company with pre-clinical programs in bone and joint diseases. In the RA program, lead compounds have shown significant disease-modifying properties and good pharmacokinetic properties in relevant animal models of the disease. These molecules also show substantial protection against bone loss in the industry standard RA animal models. The compounds target proprietary kinase proteins that were identified using the Galapagos’ SilenceSelect target discovery platform. Based on these results, Galapagos anticipates initiation of pre-clinical studies later this year, with the potential of a candidate drug entering clinical Phase I in 2008.
RA is a chronic disease, mainly affecting the joints. The disease is characterized by inflammation of the affected joint, which can result in chronic pain, swelling and stiffness, and later, joint destruction and disability. RA is the most debilitating form of arthritis and the most common inflammatory joint disease. It is estimated that 1-2% of the population has RA, and although it can occur at any age, onset usually begins between the ages of 25 and 50. Women are three times more likely than men to be affected by RA. Current market for RA medicines is estimated at €7 billion annually; this is expected to approach €9 billion by 2011.
Galapagos (Euronext Brussels, GLPG; Euronext Amsterdam, GLPGA; London AiM: GLPG) is a drug discovery company with pre-clinical programs in bone and joint diseases and cachexia. 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 460 people and operates facilities in seven 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.
Galapagos webcast & press conferences
Galapagos will host an audio webcast press conference starting at 10.30 Central European Time (CET) today at the Amsterdam World Trade Center, Room 6, Strawinskylaan 77, 1077 XW, Amsterdam. To participate in the conference remotely by telephone, dial +32 2290 1608 prior to 10.25 CET. The live audio webcast of the press conference can be accessed on the Galapagos website at www.glpg.com.
Galapagos will host a video webcast press conference starting at 15.45 CET today at the Diamant Conference & Business Centre, Galilei Room, 80 Bd A. Reyers Ln, 1030 Brussels. To participate in the conference remotely by telephone, dial +32 2290 1608 prior to 15.40 CET. The live video webcast of the press conference can be accessed on the Galapagos website at www.glpg.com.
Both webcasts will be available for replay later today and archived on the Galapagos website for 30 days.
Onno van de Stolpe, CEO
Tel: +31 6 2909 8028
Media contacts for Galapagos:
Smink, Van der Ploeg & Jongsma Financiële Communicatie
Tel: +31 653 81 64 27
Gunther De Backer
Tel: +32 475 903 909
This release may contain forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements containing the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “may,” “will,” “could,” “stands to,” and “continues,” as well as similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which might cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of Galapagos, or industry results, to be materially different from any historic or future results, financial conditions, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Given these uncertainties, the reader is advised not to place any undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of publication of this document. Galapagos expressly disclaims any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements in this document to reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based, unless required by law or regulation.