Galapagos NV, ZoBio BV, Pyxis Discovery BV and Leiden University collaborate in arthritis drug discovery program

As a member of the collaborative effort, Galapagos will contribute its arthritis disease biology and a validated target for drug development, which has been discovered using its siRNA-based technologies. ZoBio will be responsible for identification of a candidate drug compound using its proprietary TINS (Target Immobilized NMR Screening) technology, which will be further advanced via co-development with Leiden University. In addition, Pyxis Discovery will apply its expertise in computer-aided chemistry for the design of specialized “fragment-based” compound libraries that will be used to screen the target.

“This is a strong combination of partners and technologies and the award of the grant is a strong endorsement. We are pleased to use one of our promising targets in collaboration with these partners to develop a medicine against arthritis,” said Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos. “It fits within our strategy to create a broad pipeline of candidate drugs against bone and joint diseases.” “This project represents a vital first foray into drug discovery for ZoBio and a chance to clearly demonstrate the superior speed and selectivity of TINS” said Gregg Siegal, Chief Scientific Officer of ZoBio. Jan Schultz, Managing Director Business Development of Pyxis Discovery, added “We see fragment-based drug discovery as a technology with great potential and this project will provide us with valuable insight into the efficiency of this approach for drug discovery.”

About Galapagos

Galapagos is a publicly traded, genomics-based drug discovery company (Euronext Brussels, GLPG; Euronext Amsterdam, GLPGA) that has successfully discovered and validated novel targets in the bone and joint diseases – osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as in asthma and Alzheimer’s disease. Proprietary targets and compounds resulting from these programs are used for Galapagos’ internal drug discovery programs, combined with selected out-licensing and partnering of projects during development. Galadeno, Galapagos’ partnering unit, provides reagents and functional screens to leading pharmaceutical, biotech and nutraceutical companies for rapid identification and validation of novel drug targets. Galapagos currently employs 71 people, including 17 PhDs, and occupies facilities in Mechelen, Belgium, and Leiden, The Netherlands. Galapagos’ partners include Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Vertex and Wyeth.

More information about Galapagos and Galadeno can be found at


Onno van de Stolpe

CEO Galapagos

Phone: +31 62 909 8028


About ZoBio

ZoBio is developing innovative methods using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance to screen compound libraries for binding to a broad range of pharmacological targets. Our aim is to be capable of rapidly generating high affinity, high specificity lead compounds with optimal drug-like properties for targets with great pharmacological value but for which developing drugs using presently available technologies would be difficult or impossible.

Founded in 2004 as a spinout from Leiden University in the Netherlands, ZoBio has focussed on development of its proprietary TINS hardware and methods that allow rapid screening of drug fragment libraries for interaction with a target. TINS allows fragment-based screening of a much broader array of targets than competing technologies. After successful completion of the technology development, ZoBio is now transitioning into drug discovery for both its own targets and in collaboration with other biotech and pharmaceutical partners.

More information about ZoBio can be found at


Gregg Siegal

Chief Scientific Officer

Phone: +31 61 823 3454


About Pyxis Discovery

Pyxis Discovery offers small sets of chemical compounds to pharmaceutical and biotech companies that are active in small molecule drug discovery. The focus of Pyxis Discovery is smart design of novel compounds, using proprietary software that analyzes the relationship between chemical structures and biological activity. The resulting information is used to design and synthesize novel compounds that have a high chance of being biologically active.

In the design of compounds, strict criteria for pharmacological properties are applied and favourable chemical characteristics for lead optimization are incorporated to increase the chance of survival in preclinical development. Pyxis Discovery designs its chemistry with an eye on the entire drug discovery process. Using smart libraries of Pyxis Discovery results in efficient screening, lower attrition rates downstream and therefore a higher chance to move compounds into clinical testing.

More information about Pyxis Discovery can be found at


Jan Schultz

Managing Director Business Development

Phone: +31 15 260 0972