Galapagos NV announced today that it has expanded its global multi-year strategic alliance with Roche to develop potential new therapies in COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The partners have increased the number of antibody targets in the alliance. In addition, these targets can now also be used as starting points for molecules consisting of nucleic acids and/or amino acids. As such, the scope of molecules subject to this alliance could potentially include also peptides, siRNA and other nucleic acids.
Galapagos and Roche started their strategic alliance in COPD in January 2010. Galapagos is applying its target discovery platform to discover novel COPD targets and is responsible for the discovery and development of new small molecule candidate drugs against these targets. Roche has an exclusive option to license each small molecule program after either clinical candidate selection or completion of Phase I clinical trials. In addition, Roche has an exclusive option to license the COPD targets for the discovery and development of antibodies against these targets. Upon exercise of each option, Roche will be responsible for the further (pre)clinical development and commercialization. Galapagos received a research access payment of EUR6 million from Roche upon signature of the alliance. The alliance expansion announced today has the potential to increase the total value of milestone payments Galapagos receives under this agreement by EUR150 million.
“We’ve made a good start in the alliance with Roche,” said Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos. “This is the fourth alliance that has been expanded upon the request of our pharma partners and we are particularly pleased that Roche sees the potential of our target discovery platform to identify new antibody drug targets. This expansion increases the chances of the alliance delivering a therapeutic molecule for the treatment of COPD.”