Galapagos NV has announced that it has been awarded a €2.7 million grant from the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT) to progress its proprietary antiviral drug discovery research programs.
The two-year IWT-funded project focuses on progressing novel mode-of-action small molecules that have shown antiviral activity in laboratory models, with the goal to deliver a first preclinical candidate within one year. Galapagos will collaborate on this project with the research group of Professor Johan Neyts at the Rega Institute for Medical Research at the KU Leuven, which has a long-standing expertise in developing novel strategies to treat viral infections.
These antiviral programs focus on blocking the activity of a protein in the human body that is essential for a number of important pathogenic viruses to carry out their own reproduction. The compounds have demonstrated potent antiviral activity against a wide variety of normal and resistant strains. The key priorities for this project are to advance compounds against human rhinovirus (HRV), the virus that causes the common cold, and hepatitis C virus (HCV).
"Galapagos is once again breaking new ground with these novel antiviral compounds that target host proteins," said Graham Dixon, SVP Drug Discovery for Galapagos. "This grant provides funding for us to further understand the mechanism by which these orally available, small molecules play a role in inhibiting viral infection."