Belgian based biotech firm Galapagos, a company that specializes in the discovery and development of molecular medicines with new drug targets, announced that its seven year proprietary investment agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, part of the Johnson & Johnson healthcare brand, has been terminated by mutual agreement between the two companies.
In 2007, Galapagos entered into an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, providing the option for worldwide, commercial licenses to certain new drug targets for diseases such as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) discovered by Galapagos.
The termination announcement comes just after Galapagos released positive findings from its Phase I trial of its first-in-class molecule, GLPG1690, for the treatment of patients with IPF. This trial assessed safety, tolerability, and effectiveness of oral single and multiple doses of GLPG1690 in 40 healthy volunteers. The results showed that the experimental treatment was safe and well-tolerated over a wide dose range in healthy volunteers.
GLPG1690, is one of two molecular drug candidates that will be returned to Galapagos as part of the termination agreement.
In a company press release, Dr Piet Wigerinck, Chief Scientific Officer of Galapagos, stated “We are pleased to regain the rights to GLPG1690 to pursue the most suitable clinical application of autotaxin inhibition. There is a large unmet medical need in IPF, and our pre-clinical data with GLPG1690 supports its potential as a competitive and novel approach in this disease area. The alliance with Janssen has been underway since October 2007 and has generated three clinical molecules, two of which are now proprietary Phase 2 assets of Galapagos: GLPG1205 and GLPG1690. This program is a valuable component of our development portfolio, and regaining the rights is a next step in our transformation into a mature biotech company with a proprietary product pipeline.”
In light of the Dr. Wigerinck’s optimistic assessment of the termination, it must be noted that this is not the only pharmaceutical company to back away from investment plans; last summer GlaxoSmithKline also called off its plans to partner with Galapagos in a drug development program.
Galapagos is a clinical-stage biotechnology company specializing in the discovery and development of small molecule medicines with novel modes of action, with a pipeline comprising three Phase 2 programs, two Phase 1 trials, five pre-clinical studies, and 25 discovery small-molecule and antibody programs in cystic fibrosis, inflammation, and other indications.