Galapagos and Arthrogen enter target discovery alliance


Galapagos NV announced that its service division BioFocus has entered into a three-year target discovery alliance with Arthrogen BV, a joint venture of the Dubai Bone & Joint Center and the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. The alliance focuses on identifying novel targets for gene therapy applications in rheumatoid arthritis. Under the terms of the agreement, BioFocus will extend its SilenceSelect® collection with new gene sets, set up cellular assays and screen the expanded SilenceSelect collection in the assays. The human protein targets identified in the screens will then be characterized and validated. In return, Galapagos will receive from Arthrogen an upfront payment and R&D funding and will be eligible for development milestones. Should all criteria on a target be achieved, revenues for Galapagos with respect to such target may exceed EUR 7.5 million. Additionally, Galapagos is entitled to receive royalties on any marketed products that may arise from the alliance.

The SilenceSelect target discovery platform is based on adenoviruses that efficiently introduce human gene sequences into a wide variety of human cells to knock-down specific proteins. High-throughput assays that represent a selected human disease state are then used to functionally select for those proteins that have a causative effect in those models of human disease. After rigorous validation of these protein targets, they form the basis for the development of novel drugs.

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