Galapagos NV (Euronext & NASDAQ: GLPG) and Fibrocor Therapeutics Inc. (Fibrocor) today announced an expanded collaboration focused on novel targets in fibrosis, with Galapagos taking an equity stake in Fibrocor.
Fibrocor is a privately held Canadian company specializing in the development of tissue-specific therapeutics to treat fibrotic diseases of the kidney, liver, lung and other organs. To date, the company has successfully identified a suite of novel targets in fibrosis through its target discovery platform leveraging a human fibrosis biobank.
In January 2019, Galapagos announced a collaboration with Fibrocor for a small molecule inhibitor program focused on an undisclosed fibrotic target. Under the expanded collaboration announced today, Galapagos receives the exclusive option to inlicense a total of four additional novel target programs. Galapagos can lift the option after the targets, two of which have already been identified, have been validated and brought into drug discovery, and reach the lead optimization stage. Fibrocor remains responsible for all research activity until lead optimization, after which Galapagos takes charge of all further development.
In exchange for global commercialization rights to Galapagos, Fibrocor will receive an upfront payment, and is eligible for option exercise payments as well as further milestone and royalty payments.
As part of the transaction, Galapagos also takes an equity position in Fibrocor, and nominated Dr. Paul Van der Horst, Head of Business Development at Galapagos, to join the Board of Directors as non-executive Board member.
“We would first like to welcome Dr. Paul Van der Horst to the board and think he will make an excellent addition to the team,” says Mark Steedman, President and CEO of Fibrocor. “This expansion agreement deepens our relationship and provides commercial line of sight for our drug discovery efforts with one of the leading European biotech companies. We feel very fortunate to be in this position and look forward to the hard work ahead to make the collaboration a continued success.”
“It’s wonderful to see outstanding science coming together with such exceptional partners to chart a new way forward in fibrosis target discovery and drug development,” added Fibrocor Prof. Richard Gilbert, Chief Scientific Officer of Fibrocor.
“The expanded collaboration with Fibrocor announced today fits perfectly into our continued efforts to broaden our pipeline in fibrosis,” says Dr. Piet Wigerinck, Chief Scientific Officer at Galapagos. “The discovery approach at Fibrocor is clearly successful in identifying interesting novel targets, and we are fully committed to working closely with the Fibrocor team to discover new therapies to address the large unmet medical need in fibrosis.”
Fibrocor Therapeutics Inc., a TIAP spin out company, represents a new paradigm in drug discovery research as it marries a state of the art genomics platform (developed by Dr. Jeff Wrana) to a kidney biobank (led by Dr. Darren Yuen), ultimately uncovering underlying genetic factors associated with specific clinical populations, and using longitudinal data to uncover rapid progressors of the disease.
TIAP is a leading provider of commercialization services, early-stage funding, and deal-brokering with industry and private investors. As a member-based organization made up of 14 member institutions, including the University of Toronto and affiliated teaching hospitals, TIAP’s mandate is to drive the commercialization of their most promising research breakthroughs through important global and strategic partnerships.
Galapagos (Euronext & NASDAQ: GLPG) discovers and develops small molecule medicines with novel modes of action, several of which show promising patient results and are currently in late-stage development in multiple diseases. Galapagos’ pipeline comprises Phase 3 through to discovery programs in inflammation, fibrosis, osteoarthritis and other indications. The Company’s ambition is to become a leading global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines.