Wyeth selects novel drug targets in osteoporosis collaboration with Galapagos

“We are excited that we have successfully delivered on our commitments in our osteoporosis program with Wyeth.  The selection of these targets is a critical decision as it forms the basis for the development of novel medicines,” said Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos.  “The milestone by Wyeth underlines the power of the SilenceSelect platform as a powerful tool to discover novel drug targets and confirms the strength of our discovery biology research team in osteoporosis”. 
Disease background
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 NV
Galapagos is a genomics based drug discovery company with programs in osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and asthma.  Proprietary targets and compounds resulting from Galapagos’ programs are both developed internally and selectively out-licensed.  Galádeno, Galapagos’ services 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 70 people, including 22 PhD’s, and occupies a discovery research facility in Mechelen, Belgium, and a reagent and services business unit in Leiden, The Netherlands.  Partners include Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Vertex and Wyeth.  Galapagos was founded in 1999 by Crucell (Nasdaq, Euronext: CRXL) and Tibotec to exploit Crucell’s unique PER.C6(TM) technology for target discovery.  The shareholders include Abingworth, Apax, Burrill, AlpInvest, Crucell and Tibotec-Virco.
More information about Galapagos can be found at www.galapagosgenomics.com.