Mechelen, Belgium; 10 January 2013 - Galapagos NV (Euronext: GLPG) announced today that is has been awarded a €2.7 million grant from the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT) to discover new antibiotic treatments.
A number of bacteria have become resistant to existing antibiotics, posing a pressing healthcare problem. In November 2012, Galapagos announced the selection of a candidate drug targeting DNA pol III alpha (DnaE) and which shows strong activity against all tested drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus, including the 'hospital bacterium' MRSA. In this three-year, IWT-funded project, Galapagos will exploit its know-how in DNA pol III alpha (DnaE) to discover new antibiotic treatments against additional bacterial species beyond what the Company has developed thus far. Galapagos will collaborate on this project with the research groups of Professor Dr Johan Vander Eycken at Ghent University and Professor Dr Wim Versées from the Free University Brussels.
This antibacterial program focuses on blocking the activity of a protein in bacteria, DnaE, that is essential for carrying out their own reproduction. DnaE is ubiquitous and an essential protein in both Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria, making it a highly desirable target for antibacterial therapy. Molecules active against the DnaE of other individual species will be sought, prioritizing Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterococcus faecium which are amongst those nominated by infectious disease specialists as posing the most urgent medical need. Upon project completion, Galapagos aims to generate at least one novel candidate antibacterial drug.
"With our CAM-1 candidate drug we are already a step closer to a solution to MRSA infections, but there is still a need for medicines against other resistant bacteria," said Dr Piet Wigerinck, CSO of Galapagos. "With this grant, we can support the search for more novel inhibitors of the antibacterial target DNA pol III alpha to fight against these difficult-to-treat bacterial species."
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 novel modes-of-action. The Company is progressing its JAK1 inhibitor GLPG0634, as well as one of the largest pipelines in biotech, with four programs in development and over 30 discovery programs. The Galapagos Group has over 800 employees and operates facilities in five countries, with global headquarters in Mechelen, Belgium. More info at: www.glpg.com
Dr Piet Wigerinck, Chief Scientific Officer
Tel. +32 477 627103
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