Mechelen, Belgium; 8 July 2013 – Galapagos NV (Euronext: GLPG) announced today that it has been awarded a €2.4 million TGO (transformational medical research) grant from the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT) for psoriasis research and development. The goal of this 4-year project is to bring a novel mode of action compound into the clinic that might lead to a safe and effective treatment for patients suffering from psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a common skin disease with a high impact on well-being and for which options for patient are currently limited. Psoriasis is a chronic disease, affecting approximately 3% of the population. It has no final cure and therefore represents a high burden to quality of life.
Galapagos has discovered a compound series which presents a novel mode of action in psoriasis. This 4-year IWT funded research program will explore the potential application of this compound series in disease models for psoriasis, both in preclinical systems as well as in a clinical setting. After the discovery phase, Galapagos will initiate clinical trials with this innovative, oral compound for psoriasis by using an adaptive trial design, with the aim of achieving an efficiency gain in development costs and timelines. In the clinic, pharmacodynamic assessments will be evaluated in healthy volunteers by mimicking inflammation characteristics in a Proof-of-Mechanism study. Galapagos will collaborate in this project with Professor Dr Jo Lambert at Ghent University.
“We are very pleased with this IWT grant, which really underscores how IWT supports innovation by biotechnology companies. This grant makes it possible to work towards a novel therapy which will hopefully improve the quality of life of psoriasis patients,” said Piet Wigerinck, CSO of Galapagos. “Together with GSK2586184, inlicensed by GlaxoSmithKline in 2012, we expect to have two drugs in development for psoriasis within two years.”
Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that affects the skin. It is caused by the immune system being mistakenly triggered, resulting in overproduction of new skin cells. The cause is not fully understood, but it is believed to have a genetic component and certain medications and infections are well-known risk factors. Psoriasis affects approximately 3% of people globally and it can occur at any age, although it most commonly appears for the first time between the ages of 15 and 25 years. There are five types of psoriasis with the most common form being plaque psoriasis, characterized by red patches covered by a silvery white scale appearing on the top first layer of the skin. Psoriasis can also cause inflammation of the joints, which is known as psoriatic arthritis, affecting between 10-30% of all people with psoriasis. Psoriasis is typically a lifelong condition and there is currently no cure, but various treatments can help to control the symptoms. Treating moderate to severe psoriasis usually involves a combination of treatment strategies: topical treatments, light therapy and/or systemic medications, including biologic drugs.
The agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (abbreviated as IWT) is the government agency founded in 1991 by the Flemish Government to support technological innovation projects in Flanders. Each year IWT distributes about EUR 300 million in subsidies for innovation projects to companies, organizations, research and educational institutions in Flanders. In addition to financial support, IWT also assists companies by, for instance helping them find the right information or the right partners at home or abroad, providing assistance with the preparation of projects for European programmes and with technology transfer throughout Europe. IWT also has an important coordination mandate aimed at promoting close cooperation among all the actors involved in technological innovation in Flanders. IWT Monitoring&Analysis, M&A for short, monitors innovation and regularly publishes studies. For more information, please visit http://www.iwt.be or call +32 2 209 09 00.
Galapagos (Euronext: GLPG; OTC: GLPYY) is specialized in novel modes-of-action, with a large pipeline of five clinical, six pre-clinical, and 30 discovery small-molecule and antibody programs in cystic fibrosis, inflammation, antibiotics, metabolic disease, and other indications.
GLPG0634 is an orally-available, selective inhibitor of JAK1 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and potentially other inflammatory diseases, currently in Phase 2B studies in RA and about to enter Phase 2 studies in Crohn’s disease. AbbVie and Galapagos signed a worldwide license agreement whereby AbbVie will be responsible for further development and commercialization after Phase 2B. Galapagos has another selective JAK1 inhibitor in Phase 2 in lupus and psoriasis, GSK2586184 (formerly GLPG0778, in-licensed by GlaxoSmithKline in 2012). GLPG0187 is a novel integrin receptor antagonist currently in a Phase 1B patient study in metastasis. GLPG0974 is the first inhibitor of FFA2 to be evaluated clinically for the treatment of IBD; this program is currently in a Proof of Concept Phase 2 study. GLPG1205 is a first-in-class molecule that targets inflammatory disorders and is currently in a First-in-Human Phase 1 study.
The Galapagos Group, including fee-for-service companies BioFocus, Argenta and Fidelta, has 800 employees and operates facilities in five countries, with global headquarters in Mechelen, Belgium. Further information at: www.glpg.com
Dr Piet Wigerinck, Chief Scientific Officer
Tel. +32 477 627103
Elizabeth Goodwin, Director Investor Relations
Tel: +31 6 2291 6240
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