Amgen, based in the U.S., is the world’s largest biotechnology company. Under the terms of the extended agreement, Galapagos’ service division BioFocus will continue to provide Amgen with drug discovery expertise for multiple ion channel targets, including assay development, high throughput screening, chemistry and molecular informatics. In return, Galapagos will receive an upfront fee of $2.3 million as a prepayment of FTE costs. Additionally, Galapagos may receive compensation in the form of library and technology access fees, research fees, milestone payments, and bonuses. Should all clinical and commercial events on a program be achieved, potential of event-dependent payments may exceed $30 million.
Additional financial details, target identity, disease areas and commercialization targets were not disclosed.
The initial collaboration, announced in January 2003, involves the identification of lead candidates against multiple ion channel targets. The modulation of ion channels is potentially important in the treatment of a wide range of diseases including cardiovascular and neurological disorders.
“BioFocus and Amgen have forged a strong collaborative relationship over the years, and we expect that the integration of BioFocus with Galapagos will bring together the full suite of target- and drug-discovery capabilities to Amgen’s drug discovery programs,” said Onno van de Stolpe, Chief Executive Officer of Galapagos.
Galapagos is a publicly traded, genomics-based drug discovery company (Euronext Brussels, GLPG; Euronext Amsterdam, GLPGA, London AiM: GLPG) that has drug discovery programs based on proprietary, novel targets in the bone and joint diseases – osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Galapagos offers a full suite of target-to-drug discovery products and services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies through its division BioFocus, encompassing target discovery and validation, and drug discovery services through to delivery of pre-clinical candidates. In addition, BioFocus provides adenoviral reagents for rapid identification and validation of novel drug targets and compound libraries for screening. Galapagos currently employs 203 people, including 76 PhDs, and occupies facilities in Mechelen, Belgium, Saffron Walden, UK and Leiden, The Netherlands. The partners of Galapagos include Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, GlaxoSmithKline, Idenix, Novartis, Organon, Serono, Vertex, and Wyeth. More information about Galapagos and BioFocus can be found at www.glpg.com.