Mechelen, Belgium; Leiden, The Netherlands; and Bethesda, Maryland, USA; April 14, 2005 - Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. (CFFT), the drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Galapagos, a genomics-based drug discovery company, have initiated a two-year target discovery alliance. The organizations will apply Galapagos’ adenoviral siRNA (SilenceSelect®) and cDNA (FLeXSelect®) collections and expertise in assay design to discover and validate novel drug targets for the development of new cystic fibrosis (CF) therapies. Galadeno, Galapagos’ services unit, will perform the research in this collaboration. Under the terms of the agreement, Galapagos will receive €1.3 million*, from CFFT. In addition, Galapagos has the option to further develop the targets identified in its drug discovery programs.
“We are excited about this opportunity to apply our adenoviral collections and screening expertise to CFFT’s target discovery program,” said Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos. “The fact that Galadeno has been selected by CFFT to assist them in their research program underlines the competitive edge of our technology in finding potential drug targets for various diseases.”
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease affecting approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States alone. A defective gene causes the body to produce abnormally thick, sticky mucus that blocks the airways, leading to life-threatening lung infections, and that obstructs the pancreas, causing difficulty absorbing food. The median life expectancy of CF patients has improved from early childhood to the mid-30s today, but many individuals battle lung disease for years.
“This alliance will enable us to apply Galapagos’ innovative target discovery platform to identify novel targets for the treatment of CF," said Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation and CFFT. "That Galapagos can also offer us the opportunity to further develop these targets in their own drug discovery programs was another key consideration in our decision to join forces with them.”
About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and CFFT
The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to assure the development of the means to cure and control Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and to improve the quality of life for those with the disease. With money raised through donations from individuals, corporations and foundations since its establishment in 1955, the CF Foundation supports research and care to continue adding tomorrows every day to the lives of those with CF. CFFT is the non-profit drug discovery and development affiliate of the CF Foundation. CFFT supports and governs activities related to CF drug discovery through drug development and clinical evaluation. The CF Foundation provides support to fund CFFT's operations, specifically the Therapeutics Development Program. For more information about CF, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or CFFT, visit www.cff.org.
Galapagos is a genomics-based drug discovery company that has successfully discovered and validated novel targets in the bone and joint diseases - osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as in asthma and Alzheimer’s disease. Proprietary targets and compounds resulting from these programs are used for Galapagos’ internal drug discovery programs, combined with selected out-licensing and partnering of projects during development. Galadeno, 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 66 people, including 16 PhDs, and occupies facilities in Mechelen, Belgium, and Leiden, The Netherlands. Partners include Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, GSK, Vertex and Wyeth.
Galapagos was founded in 1999 by Crucell (Nasdaq, Euronext: CRXL) and Tibotec to exploit Crucell’s unique PER.C6® technology for target discovery. The shareholders include Abingworth Management, AlpInvest Partners, Apax Partners, Burrill & Company, Crucell and Tibotec-Virco.
For more information about Galapagos, visit www.glpg.com.
*The award amount is €1.3 million, which is approximately $1.7 million based on current exchange rates.