Galapagos reports adenoviral siRNA based results

Mechelen, Belgium, October 16, 2003 – Galapagos Genomics today announced that it has published its adenoviral siRNA based gene silencing technology in the scientific journal Genome Research (Arts et al., October 2003[1]).  The publication demonstrates efficient knock down of specific gene expression in a variety of cell types, including human primary cells.  These results open the road to discovery and validation of novel drug targets in numerous therapeutic applications.
Based on the published approach, Galapagos has built a collection of adenoviruses with knock down sequences targeting over 4,000 human drugable genes, where drugable represents those gene classes of most value for pharmaceutical development.  This collection, called SilenceSelectTM, enables high throughput, functional discovery of genes using relevant cell assays.  Galapagos’ is currently applying this collection to internal discovery programs that are focused in bone disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.  These programs have already resulted in identification of novel drugable targets in these diseases for which Galapagos now intends to seek third party partners for further drug development. 
Galapagos further announced that is has recently reached an important milestone in its first SilenceSelect agreement with a top tier pharmaceutical partner that was initiated in early 2003. 
“The SilenceSelect platform is probably the most powerful drug target discovery platform available in the industry to date.  The Genome Research paper illustrates the large potential for target discovery using adenoviral siRNA based knock down in combination with human primary cell assays,” said Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos.  “That we have already signed up a major corporate partner and obtained a success milestone is satisfying, further more we are already seeing exciting results in terms of novel target discovery across our own disease programs.  These events make us confident that we will are able to leverage the platform in multiple disease areas both internally and through our external partnerships”. 
About Galapagos
Galapagos Genomics is a privately held company headquartered in Mechelen, Belgium.  The Company has built a functional genomics platform using arrayed adenoviruses containing human gene sequences.  It’s knock in PhenoSelect and knock down SilenceSelect collections are in an arrayed format that enables high-throughput screening using cellular assays.  Galapagos is using its technology platform for the discovery and validation of proprietary drug targets and for partnering with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.  Its research programs focus on Alzheimer’s and bone diseases.  The Company currently employs 90 people, including 22 PhD’s, and occupies a 2000 sq.m. research and production facility in Mechelen, with additional research laboratories in Leiden, The Netherlands.  Galapagos’ partners include Bayer, Euroscreen, Exelixis, Incyte, Johnson & Johnson, Organon, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, UCB Pharma and Vertex.  The shareholders are Abingworth Management, Apax Partners, Burrill&Company, NIB Capital Private Equity, Crucell Holland BV (Nasdaq, Euronext: CRXL) and Tibotec-Virco NV.  More information on Galapagos can be found at the renewed website  PhenoSelect(TM) and SilenceSelect(TM) are pending trademarks owned by Galapagos Genomics NV.
For more information, please contact:
Onno van de Stolpe, CEO
+32 15 342 900

[1] Arts, GJ, et al. 2003. Adenoviral Vectors Expressing siRNAs for Discovery and Validation of Gene Function. Genome Res. 13: 2325-2332.