Galapagos NV has announced that Janssen Pharmaceutica NV and Galapagos have mutually agreed to terminate the inflammation alliance and option agreements between the companies. Galapagos views the molecules emerging from the alliance as strong additions to its growing proprietary pipeline.
Among others, all rights to candidate drug GLPG1690, a selective autotaxin inhibitor, return to Galapagos. Galapagos has successfully completed a First-in-Human Phase 1 trial for GLPG1690 and is preparing a Phase 2 clinical trial in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
"We are pleased to regain the rights to GLPG1690 to pursue the most suitable clinical application of autotaxin inhibition. There is a large unmet medical need in IPF, and our pre-clinical data with GLPG1690 supports its potential as a competitive and novel approach in this disease area," said Dr Piet Wigerinck, Chief Scientific Officer of Galapagos. "The alliance with Janssen has been underway since October 2007 and has generated three clinical molecules, two of which are now proprietary Phase 2 assets of Galapagos: GLPG1205 and GLPG1690. This program is a valuable component of our development portfolio, and regaining the rights is a next step in our transformation into a mature biotech company with a proprietary product pipeline."
Galapagos identified autotaxin as playing a key role in inflammation, using an inflammation assay in its unique target discovery platform. Pharmacology and translational studies published by other parties in the literature since then suggest autotaxin may play a key role in metabolic disease, arthritic pain, oncology, and lung disease.
GLPG1690 is a potent and selective inhibitor of autotaxin. In a Phase 1 study in healthy human volunteers, GLPG1690 demonstrated favorable safety and tolerability, as well as a strong pharmacodynamic signal implying target engagement. Galapagos is currently preparing a Phase 2 study in IPF, to be filed for approval before the end of 2015.