Galapagos and Roche form COPD alliance

Belgian biotech company Galapagos has signed a multi-year agreement with Swiss drugmaker Roche to develop new therapies for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) that could be worth more than Euro 400m (US$573m).

Belgian biotech company Galapagos has signed a multi-year agreement with Swiss drugmaker Roche to develop new therapies for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) that could be worth more than Euro 400m (US$573m).

Galapagos will receive an upfront payment of €6m from Roche and is also eligible to receive milestone payments that could potentially exceed €400m, plus royalties.

Under the terms of the agreement, Galapagos will discover and develop new small molecule candidate drugs against novel COPD targets.

Roche will have an exclusive option to license each small molecule programme after either clinical candidate selection or completion of Phase I clinical trials. Roche also has an exclusive option to license the COPD targets for the discovery and development of antibodies against these targets.

"We are excited that this collaboration will focus on both antibodies and small molecules as potential drugs for COPD," said Onno van de Stolpe, ceo of Galapagos. "Roche's vast experience in developing and commercialising antibodies makes it the perfect partner for this combined approach."

"Galapagos' track record in discovering novel therapeutic targets and its drug discovery expertise make it an ideal partner for our COPD discovery programme," said Satwant Narula, head of discovery for the inflammation area of Roche.

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