Mechelen, Belgium, November 13, 2003 –Galapagos Genomics today announced that it has entered into a discovery alliance in the field of osteoporosis with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, the pharmaceutical division of Wyeth (NYSE: WYE). Within the alliance, Galapagos will use its osteoporosis disease expertise in combination with its SilenceSelectTM gene knock-down platform to discover and validate novel drug targets that drive bone formation. Under the terms of the agreement, Wyeth has obtained the exclusive option to license the targets for the development of osteoporosis drugs. In return, Galapagos will receive an upfront payment and research funding, and is eligible for certain licensing, development and commercialization milestones that could amount to over $40 million of income to Galapagos.
“This discovery alliance with one of the largest players in the osteoporosis field is an important milestone for the Company. We are looking forward to working with Wyeth and we are confident that we will deliver novel drug targets into their compound screening programs within months,” said Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos. “This agreement underlines the value of the SilenceSelect platform as an important tool to discover novel drug targets, and it establishes the strength of our discovery biology research team in osteoporosis”.
Osteoporosis is principally a disease of middle age during which hormone levels essential for maintaining bone density decline. The development of osteoporosis is characterized by a clinically significant reduction in mean bone density due to an increase in bone resorption. The disease is four times as common in women than men. The enormous health care costs associated with osteoporosis, estimated at $15 billion in the USA, are related to the greatly increased incidence of fractures in osteoporosis patients. Whereas most current therapies have an anti-resorptive mechanism of action, agents with bone-forming properties can be identified for future therapies by identifying targets and molecules with anabolic functions and actions.
About Galapagos Genomics
Galapagos Genomics is a discovery company focused on the rapid identification and validation of disease modifying drug targets by functional screening in human disease models. The research activities encompass the internal programs in osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as numerous partnerships with leading pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and biotech companies. Proprietary targets resulting from our internal programs are used for the development of drugs in our core disease areas, combined with selected out-licensing and partnering of projects during development. 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’ other partners include Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Euroscreen, Exelixis, Incyte, Johnson&Johnson, Organon, Pfizer, Procter&Gamble, UCB Pharma and Vertex. Galapagos was founded in 1999 by Crucell (Nasdaq, Euronext: CRXL) and Tibotec to exploit Crucell’s unique PER.C6TM technology for target discovery. The shareholders are Abingworth Management, Apax Partners, Burrill&Company, NIB Capital Private Equity, Crucell Holland BV and Tibotec-Virco NV.
More information on Galapagos can be found at the website www.galapagosgenomics.com. SilenceSelect is a pending trademark owned by Galapagos Genomics NV.
Onno van de Stolpe, CEO
+31 6290 980 28