Galapagos NV has announced that it has selected pre-clinical candidates in its rheumatoid arthritis and bone metastasis programs. It is the Company's intention to submit IND (Investigational New Drug) applications for these programs later this year, with initiation of clinical trials for bone metastasis by yearend and for rheumatoid arthritis early 2009.
The Company also intends to select a pre-clinical candidate in osteoarthritis in 2008. Progress on these and other drug discovery programs will be discussed during the webcast this afternoon.
"By moving the first drug from our rheumatoid arthritis program into the pre-clinical development phase, Galapagos is taking an important step toward discovering first-in-class, disease modifying small molecule drugs for bone and joint diseases," said Onno van de Stolpe, Chief Executive Officer of Galapagos.
"In addition, we are excited that the bone metastasis program has accelerated to the stage where we can dose first patients in a clinical trial before year end. This program, with a potential secondary indication in osteoporosis, provides a relatively fast path toward a marketed drug with significant revenue potential for Galapagos and its shareholders."
The Company announced that its rheumatoid arthritis (RA) candidate against kinase target GT418 demonstrates significant bone protection and reduced inflammation in the industry standard mouse model. The effect of this oral compound was at least equivalent to Enbrel® (etanercept), the injectable anti-TNF treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. The compound also demonstrates good bioavailability in three animal species.
Based on these results, pre-clinical development has started, with the aim to file an IND by the end of 2008 and initiate a clinical Phase I trial shortly thereafter. The Phase I trial will be designed to provide safety and dosage data as endpoints, with preliminary data on pharmacodynamic properties.