Galapagos Enters Strategic Alliance in Inflammatory Diseases with Merck & Co
News Apr 21, 2009
Galapagos NV has announced that it has entered into a multi-year global strategic alliance with Merck & Co., Inc., through an affiliate, to develop potential new therapies in inflammatory diseases.
Galapagos will be responsible for the discovery and pre-clinical development of new small molecule candidate drugs based on novel Galapagos targets. Merck will have the exclusive option to license each candidate for clinical development and commercialization on a worldwide basis.
The alliance will make use of Galapagos' proprietary SilenceSelect® target discovery platform for identification of novel targets in inflammatory diseases. After validation, targets will be selected by a joint steering committee and entered into screening and chemistry by Galapagos.
Merck has the option to acquire an exclusive license to each candidate drug and upon exercise of such an option. Merck will be responsible for the development and commercialization of the candidate drug. Galapagos may execute phase I clinical studies and will have the right to further develop and commercialize certain compounds for which Merck does not exercise its exclusive option.
Under the terms of the agreement, Galapagos will receive an upfront fee of €2.5 million from Merck. In addition, Galapagos is eligible to receive discovery, development and regulatory milestone payments that could potentially exceed €192 million total for multiple products, as well as specific sales milestones and royalties upon commercialization of any products covered under the agreement.
"This new alliance with Merck in inflammatory diseases, our sixth pharma alliance to date, underscores the quality and versatility of Galapagos' target discovery platform," said Onno van de Stolpe, CEO. "Galapagos has proven it delivers on its alliance programs, making us attractive to potential pharma partners seeking to fill their pipelines with medicines based on novel modes of action."