Galapagos receives EUR2.5 million IWT grant for IBD research

Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:39am EST

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  MECHELEN, BELGIUM, Jan 30 (Marketwire) -- 
Galapagos NV (Euronext: GLPG) announced today that it has been awarded a
EUR2.5 million grant from the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science
and Technology (IWT) for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research and
development. The goal of this 2.5-year project is to identify new
therapeutic compounds for future treatment of IBD patients.

    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic, uncontrolled inflammation
of the intestinal mucosa. Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis
(UC) are the two main types of IBD; both diseases have an autoimmune
component. The introduction of anti-TNF alpa antibodies has changed the
treatment of refractory patients, but only one third of the patients will
achieve long-term remission. As such, the medical need in this patient
segment is very high.

    The general purpose of the IWT-funded program is to gain better insight
in the roles of GPR43 and two undisclosed targets in the pathobiology of
chronic inflammatory disorders, in order to understand their therapeutic
value.  Galapagos will collaborate in this project with Professor Dr Paul
Rutgeerts and Professor Dr Severine Vermeire from the Catholic University
of Leuven, and the research group of Professor Dr Martine De Vos at Ghent
University.

    Galapagos has been working in the anti-inflammatory field for a long
time, and has several projects with IBD as potential indication. The
first compound that will be tested in IBD patients is GLPG0974, an
inhibitor of target GPR43 (also known as FFA2). This target is one of the
three whose role in IBD will be investigated in this IWT-funded project.
Galapagos has recently completed a second Phase I clinical study with
GLPG0974, and results are expected to be reported later this quarter. In
April Galapagos will start a Proof of Concept study with GLPG0974 in UC.

    "After RA, IBD is the second autoimmune disease focus for Galapagos. With
this grant we will get a better understanding of the cause of IBD, and
this will contribute to the search for better medicines," said Piet
Wigerinck, CSO of Galapagos. "The knowledge that will come from this
research will provide more insight into the potential of our programs for
use in this indication."

    About IBD

    Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are disorders of multi-factorial cause
that present as a multitude of phenotypes, clinical behaviors and
severity. Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the two
main types of IBD. The peak age of onset is 15 to 30 years old, with a
second, smaller peak occurring in individuals aged 50 to 70, with the
prevalence rate of IBD reaching up to 396/100,000 persons. The hallmark
of IBD is chronic uncontrolled inflammation of the intestinal mucosa,
involving a pathological response in both innate and adaptive immune
system. The pathogenesis is an interplay of factors as diverse as genetic
susceptibility, the external environment, infectious agents, the commensal
enteric microbiota, and (mucosal) immune system dysfunction. However, the
current understanding of the pathogenesis remains limited. The
characteristic inflammatory response begins with infiltration of
neutrophils and macrophages, which release chemokines and cytokines.
These in turn exacerbate the dysfunctional immune response and activate
cellular and humoral responses in the gut mucosa.

    About Galapagos

    Galapagos (Euronext: GLPG; OTC: GLPYY) is a mid-size clinical stage
biotechnology company specialized in the discovery and development of
small molecule and antibody therapies with a novel mode-of-action. The
Company is progressing four clinical, six pre-clinical, and 30 discovery
programs in cystic fibrosis, inflammation, antibiotics, metabolic
disease, and other indications. Its lead program is GLPG0634, an
orally-available, selective inhibitor of JAK1, for the treatment of
rheumatoid arthritis and potentially other inflammatory diseases. In two
four-week Phase 2 studies, GLPG0634 showed improvement in the signs and
symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and a unique safety profile. A 6-month
Phase 2b study is expected to start Q2 2013 with topline data expected in
Q4 2014. AbbVie and Galapagos signed a worldwide license agreement whereby
AbbVie will be responsible for further development and commercialization
after Phase 2b. Galapagos is also progressing two other clinical
development programs with clinical readouts expected in 2013: GLPG0187, a
novel integrin receptor antagonist in development for metastasis, is in a
Phase 1b patient study; GLPG0974 is the first inhibitor of GPR43, which
is currently often referred to as FFA2. It will be evaluated for the
treatment of IBD. This program is in Phase 1 and a Proof of Concept Phase
2 study will start in Q2 2013. The Galapagos Group, including
fee-for-service companies BioFocus, Argenta and Fidelta, has over 800
employees and operates facilities in five countries, with global
headquarters in Mechelen, Belgium. Further information about the company
and its drug development programs can be found online at: www.glpg.com

    Galapagos forward-looking statements

    This release may contain forward-looking statements, including, without
limitation, statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates,"
"expects," "intends," "plans," "seeks," "estimates," "may," "will,"
"could," "stands to," and "continues," as well as similar expressions.
Such forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other factors which might cause the actual results,
financial condition, performance or achievements of Galapagos, or
industry results, to be materially different from any historic or future
results, financial conditions, performance or achievements expressed or
implied by such forward-looking statements. Given these uncertainties,
the reader is advised not to place any undue reliance on such
forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as
of the date of publication of this document. Galapagos expressly disclaims
any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements in this
document to reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or
any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such
statement is based, unless required by law or regulation.

    Galapagos receives EUR2.5 million IWT grant for IBD research:
http://hugin.info/133350/R/1673980/545024.pdf

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    Source: Galapagos NV via Thomson Reuters ONE

    [HUG#1673980]

Contact

Galapagos NV
Dr Piet Wigerinck
Chief Scientific Officer
Tel. +32 477 627103

Elizabeth Goodwin
Director Investor Relations
Tel: +31 6 2291 6240
ir@glpg.com

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