Galapagos receives â‚¬2.5 million IWT grant for IBD research
Mechelen, Belgium; 30 January 2013 - Galapagos NV (Euronext: GLPG) announced
today that it has been awarded a â‚¬2.5 million grant from the Flemish agency for
Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT) for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
research and development. Â The goal of this 2.5-year project is to identify new
therapeutic compounds for future treatment of IBD patients.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic, uncontrolled inflammation of the
intestinal mucosa.Â Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the two
main types of IBD; both diseases have an autoimmune component. Â The introduction
of anti-TNF alpaÂ antibodies has changed the treatment of refractory patients,
but only one third of the patients will achieve long-term remission. Â As such,
the medical need in this patient segment is very high.
The general purpose of the IWT-funded program is to gain better insight in the
roles of GPR43 and two undisclosed targets in the pathobiology of chronic
inflammatory disorders, in order to understand their therapeutic value.
Â Galapagos will collaborate in this project with Professor Dr Paul Rutgeerts and
Professor Dr SÃ©verine Vermeire from the Catholic University of Leuven, and the
research group of Professor Dr Martine De Vos at Ghent University.
Galapagos has been working in the anti-inflammatory field for a long time, and
has several projects with IBD as potential indication. Â The first compound that
will be tested in IBD patients is GLPG0974, an inhibitor of target GPR43 (also
known as FFA2). Â This target is one of the three whose role in IBD will be
investigated in this IWT-funded project. Â Galapagos has recently completed a
second Phase I clinical study with GLPG0974, and results are expected to be
reported later this quarter.Â In April Galapagos will start a Proof of Concept
study with GLPG0974 in UC.
"After RA, IBD is the second autoimmune disease focus for Galapagos. Â With this
grant we will get a better understanding of the cause of IBD, and this will
contribute to the search for better medicines," said Piet Wigerinck, CSO of
Galapagos.Â "The knowledge that will come from this research will provide more
insight into the potential of our programs for use in this indication."
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are disorders of multi-factorial cause that
present as a multitude of phenotypes, clinical behaviors and severity. Â Crohn's
disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the two main types of IBD. Â The
peak age of onset is 15 to 30 years old, with a second, smaller peak occurring
in individuals aged 50 to 70, with the prevalence rate of IBD reaching up to
The hallmark of IBD is chronic uncontrolled inflammation of the intestinal
mucosa, involving a pathological response in both innate and adaptive immune
system. Â The pathogenesis is an interplay of factors as diverse as genetic
susceptibility, the external environment, infectious agents, the commensal
enteric microbiota, and (mucosal) immune system dysfunction. Â However, the
current understanding of the pathogenesis remains limited. Â The characteristic
inflammatory response begins with infiltration of neutrophils and macrophages,
which release chemokines and cytokines. Â These in turn exacerbate the
dysfunctional immune response and activate cellular and humoral responses in the
Galapagos (Euronext: GLPG; OTC: GLPYY) is a mid-size clinical stage
biotechnology company specialized in the discovery and development of small
molecule and antibody therapies with a novel mode-of-action.Â The Company is
progressing four clinical, six pre-clinical, and 30 discovery programs in cystic
fibrosis, inflammation, antibiotics, metabolic disease, and other indications.
Its lead program is GLPG0634, an orally-available, selective inhibitor of JAK1,
for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and potentially other inflammatory
diseases.Â In two four-week Phase 2 studies, GLPG0634 showed improvement in the
signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and a unique safety profile.Â A 6-
month Phase 2b study is expected to start Q2 2013 with topline data expected in
Q4 2014.Â AbbVie and Galapagos signed a worldwide license agreement whereby
AbbVie will be responsible for further development and commercialization after
Phase 2b.Â Galapagos is also progressing two other clinical development programs
with clinical readouts expected in 2013: GLPG0187, a novel integrin receptor
antagonist in development for metastasis, is in a Phase 1b patient study;
GLPG0974 is the first inhibitor of GPR43, which is currently often referred to
as FFA2. Â It will be evaluated for the treatment of IBD.Â This program is in
Phase 1 and a Proof of Concept Phase 2 study will start in Q2 2013.
The Galapagos Group, including fee-for-service companies BioFocus, Argenta and
Fidelta, has over 800 employees and operates facilities in five countries, with
global headquarters in Mechelen, Belgium.Â Further information about the company
and its drug development programs can be found online at: www.glpg.com
Dr Piet Wigerinck, Chief Scientific Officer
Tel. +32 477 627103
Elizabeth Goodwin, Director Investor Relations
Tel: +31 6 2291 6240
Galapagos forward-looking statements
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"expects," "intends," "plans," "seeks," "estimates," "may," "will," "could,"
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looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other
factors which might cause the actual results, financial condition, performance
or achievements of Galapagos, or industry results, to be materially different
from any historic or future results, financial conditions, performance or
achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Given
these uncertainties, the reader is advised not to place any undue reliance on
such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as
of the date of publication of this document. Galapagos expressly disclaims any
obligation to update any such forward-looking statements in this document to
reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or any change in
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Galapagos receives â‚¬2.5 million IWT grant for IBD research:
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