Mechelen, Belgium; 7 February 2011 - Galapagos NV (Euronext: GLPG) announced today that it has been awarded a €2.7 million grant from the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT) to progress its proprietary antiviral drug discovery research programs.
The two-year IWT-funded project focuses on progressing novel mode-of-action small molecules that have shown antiviral activity in laboratory models, with the goal to deliver a first preclinical candidate within one year. Galapagos will collaborate on this project with the research group of Professor Johan Neyts at the Rega Institute for Medical Research at the KU Leuven, which has a long-standing expertise in developing novel strategies to treat viral infections.
These antiviral programs focus on blocking the activity of a protein in the human body that is essential for a number of important pathogenic viruses to carry out their own reproduction. The compounds have demonstrated potent antiviral activity against a wide variety of normal and resistant strains. The key priorities for this project are to advance compounds against human rhinovirus (HRV), the virus that causes the common cold, and hepatitis C virus (HCV).
"Galapagos is once again breaking new ground with these novel antiviral compounds that target host proteins," said Graham Dixon, SVP Drug Discovery for Galapagos. "This grant provides funding for us to further understand the mechanism by which these orally available, small molecules play a role in inhibiting viral infection."
About Galapagos antiviral drug discovery
In addition to its anti-infectives alliance with GlaxoSmithKline, Galapagos is progressing two proprietary antiviral programs. These small molecule programs focus on host (human) targets and thereby show activity across a broad range of viruses in laboratory studies. Galapagos' lead antiviral program is currently in lead optimization, with plans to deliver a preclinical candidate by the end of 2011.
Galapagos (Euronext: GLPG; OTC: GLPYY) is a mid-size biotechnology company specialized in the discovery and development of small molecule and antibody therapies with novel modes-of-action. The Company is progressing one of the largest pipelines in biotech, with seven clinical and over 50 small molecule discovery/pre-clinical programs. Through risk/reward-sharing alliances with GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Roche and Servier, Galapagos is eligible to receive up to €2.5 billion in downstream milestones, plus royalties. The Galapagos Group has over 800 employees and operates facilities in seven countries, with global headquarters in Mechelen, Belgium. More info at: www.glpg.com
Graham Dixon, SVP Drug Discovery
Tel: +32 473 86 87 51
Elizabeth Goodwin, Director Investor Relations
Tel: +31 6 2291 6240
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