Galapagos NV has announced that it has been awarded a €2.9 million grant from the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT) for cystic fibrosis (CF) research. The goal of this 3-year project is to identify and progress multiple promising CF therapies towards pre-clinical candidates.
The goal of the IWT-funded program is to progress correctors into pre-clinical development and gain better insight in the mode of action of Galapagos' potentiator and corrector molecules, thereby understanding better their therapeutic value.
Galapagos recently announced the selection of a pre-clinical candidate potentiator, GLPG1837, the first part of the combination therapy needed to address the needs of most CF patients. This IWT grant will fund research toward finding correctors, which are needed in combination with GLPG1837.
Galapagos will collaborate in this project with Professor Dr Christiane De Boeck from the Catholic University of Leuven, and the research group of Professor Dr Ineke Braakman at Utrecht University.
"We are very pleased with the enthusiastic support from the IWT for our innovative research in cystic fibrosis," said Dr Piet Wigerinck, Chief Scientific Officer of Galapagos. "Today's grant will add more tools to our exciting new approach in finding correctors."
Galapagos initiated its research in CF in 2005 as part of a collaboration with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In September 2013 Galapagos signed an agreement with AbbVie in which they will work collaboratively to develop and commercialize oral drugs that address the main mutations in CF patients, including F508del and G551D.
In December 2013, Galapagos selected GLPG1837 as a pre-clinical candidate and expects to start the first clinical trial before end 2014. A corrector pre-clinical candidate is expected to be nominated before end 2014, with clinical trials starting at the end of 2015.