Galapagos NV has announced that its service division BioFocus DPI has signed agreements with Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT) and the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). Dr Katherine Hilyard has been appointed as Vice President, Biological Sciences for BioFocus DPI.
Furthermore, Galapagos announces that it has recruited Clinquest for assisting the Company in preparation of its clinical trials for its bone & joint pipeline. Dr Cees Wortel from Clinquest will operate as Acting Chief Medical Officer for Galapagos.
BioFocus DPI and CRT have extended the anti-cancer drug discovery collaboration initially announced in January 2006. Under the terms of the extension, Galapagos' service division BioFocus DPI will perform medicinal chemistry services on a series of CRT anti-cancer drug programs. In return, CRT will fund the research of four BioFocus DPI scientists for one year.
BioFocus DPI and the URMC have entered a new collaboration in the field of neuroAIDS drug discovery research. The UMRC has selected BioFocus DPI to develop assays, perform screening, hit characterization and hit-to-lead medicinal chemistry work.
This collaboration is envisioned to run for three years, with a contract value exceeding €500,000 for BioFocus DPI in the first year. The URMC was recently awarded a $7 million grant from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to discover new treatments for neuroAIDS (HIV-related nerve damage).
In line with the progression of the Company's development programs towards the clinical testing phase, Galapagos has recruited Clinquest Inc. (Boston, USA) for assisting the Company in the preparations to enter its bone & joint programs into the clinic.
Dr Cees Wortel, CEO of Clinquest Group will be Acting Chief Medical Officer for Galapagos. In this role, Dr Wortel will be responsible for the design and implementation of the clinical trials for Galapagos' bone and joint disease programs which are scheduled to start in 2008. Cees Wortel, MD PhD, has over 19 years of product development experience with pharmaceutical and biotech companies, including Centocor and Alkermes.
Katherine Hilyard, PhD, has been appointed Vice President Biological Sciences for BioFocus DPI and will be leading the biology activities at BioFocus DPI. She reports to Chris Newton, PhD, Senior Vice President BioFocus DPI. Her appointment strengthens the operational management of all three BioFocus DPI divisions which have biology as their core technology. Dr Hilyard trained at the universities of Bristol, Oxford and Harvard and has 11 years industrial experience with pharma and biotech, including Hoffmann-La Roche and Cambridge Antibody Technology (as Director of Discovery Biology).
"Extending our relationship with CRT as well as obtaining this new collaboration with the University of Rochester testifies to our ability to deliver on projects. The expertise of our biologists and chemists have been paramount to winning and maintaining contracts," said CEO of Galapagos Onno van de Stolpe.
"The appointment of Kate Hilyard and recruitment of Clinquest are key developments for Galapagos and add breadth of experience in this exciting phase of growth," Stolpe added.