We seek to develop first-in-class medicines based on the discovery of novel targets. Using human primary cells, we discover which proteins (‘targets’) play a key role in causing diseases. We then aim to develop small molecules that inhibit these targets, restore the balance, and thereby positively influence the course of the disease. This approach addresses the disease itself rather than just treating the symptoms. Our aim is to make a lasting positive contribution to society through discovery of breakthrough therapies for diseases with large unmet medical need.
Our ambition is to become a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel medicines which will improve people’s lives.
Key elements of our strategy include:
- Rapidly advance the development and commercialization of filgotinib with our collaboration partner Gilead in RA, CD, UC, and other inflammatory diseases
Based on the results from our Phase 2 clinical trials, we believe that filgotinib is a promising candidate for the treatment of RA, CD, UC and other inflammatory diseases. Our collaboration partner Gilead initiated Phase 3 clinical programs in RA, CD and UC in 2016 and multiple Phase 2 clinical programs in additional inflammatory diseases in 2017. We initiated Phase 2 clinical programs in psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis in 2017. We exercised an option to co-promote filgotinib with Gilead in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. By exercising this option, we aim to build a commercial organization and further progress our ambition to become a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company.
- Build an IPF franchise
We reported positive outcomes with the FLORA Phase 2a trial evaluating GLPG1690 targeting ATX in IPF patients. We directed two additional candidate programs with distinct mechanisms of action toward IPF: we expect to start a Phase 2a trial with GLPG1205 in IPF patients and take GLPG3499 into Phase 1 in 2018. We have worldwide development and commercialization rights for GLPG1690, GLPG1205, and GLPG3499. We intend to commercialize successful candidates from our IPF franchise.
- Work with our collaboration partner AbbVie to develop a CF franchise of triple combination oral therapies
In order to address the unmet need in CF patients with Class II and other mutations in the CFTR gene, we aim to develop a triple combination therapy comprising a potentiator and two corrector molecules. We validated our in vitro assays and dosing modelling for developing a triple combination therapy through successful trials (SAPHIRA, ALBATROSS, FLAMINGO) with our potentiator and C1 corrector compounds. We completed Phase 1 trials for certain components and certain combinations of these components in 2017. We plan to initiate an evaluation of a once-daily, oral, triple combination therapy in CF patients in 2018, with additional trials with novel CF compounds and combinations throughout 2018. We have an exclusive collaboration agreement with AbbVie to jointly discover, develop, and commercialize these novel CF modulators.
- Advance GLPG1972 in OA patient clinical trials in the United States
In 2016, we announced that a Phase 1 first-in-human trial of GLPG1972, targeting ADAMTS-5 for the treatment of OA, showed the product candidate was well tolerated and reduced ARGS neoepitope in healthy volunteers up to 60% within two weeks. In early 2018, we disclosed that GLPG1972 showed a similar, dose-dependent ARGS neoepitope reduction in OA patients within four weeks. In 2018, we intend to initiate a global Phase 2 program with GLPG1972 together with Servier, our collaboration partner who elected to exercise the option to license the compound for further development in OA patient trials outside the United States. We retain all development and commercialization rights to this compound in the United States, where we will also lead all clinical development of GLPG1972.
- Advance MOR106 in AtD patient clinical trials with our collaboration partner MorphoSys
We reported successful completion of the healthy volunteer part of a Phase 1a first-in-human trial and further announced that 83% of AtD patients treated in Phase 1b with the highest dose of MOR106 achieved EASI-50, with the effect being sustained for months after stop of treatment. MOR106 targets IL17‑C, a novel antibody target discovered by us. MorphoSys and we share costs and potential benefits equally in this collaboration. We expect to start a Phase 2 trial in AtD patients in 2018.
- Maximize and capture the value of our target discovery platform by becoming a fully integrated biotechnology company
Our platform has yielded many new mode-of-action investigational therapies across multiple therapeutic areas. Our most mature pre-clinical programs are GLPG2534, GLPG3121, GLPG3312, and GLPG3667 for inflammation, which we plan to take into Phase 1 trials in 2018. Additionally, we are exploring the potential of pre-clinical product candidates in ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, atopic dermatitis, lupus, IPF, systemic sclerosis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, type 2 diabetes, and hepatitis B. We aim to initiate a Phase 3 trial every other year, while conducting three proof-of-concept trials, delivering three pre-clinical product candidates and eight new validated targets every year. We aim to select promising programs for internal development and commercialization and establish ourselves as a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company.
Annual R&D ambition
Recruiting talent on our way towards commercialization
2017 was a turning point for Galapagos, in which the accelerated growth of our pipeline and evolution of the company towards commercialization also triggered the need for massive recruitment of top talents. We recruited locally, but we also have been able to attract people from further afield with the right qualifications, specific knowledge, and expertise.
By the end of 2017 over 100 new talents joined Galapagos, and two-thirds of these filled new positions. Most new employees started in our Drug Development departments such as Clinical Operations, Biometrics, Medical Science, Clinical Pharmacology, and Project Management. The recruitment of new colleagues will enable us to bring our novel therapies further through development, with the ultimate goal to deliver these therapies to patients as quickly as possible.
As we grow, we want to make sure that the way we work today remains in place: with people participating in a workplace where they can develop their skills and knowledge, where they are treated equally and with respect, where their opinions are valued, and where diversity is appreciated. People with the ability to bring their own ideas and innovate are our best asset. We are also aware that older workers represent an essential asset and we therefore wish, as far as possible, to benefit from their skills and experience.
Our Drug Development Departments will continue to grow rapidly and, as of 2018, our Commercial team will expand substantially as well. Next to this, we continue to invest in Drug Discovery and our Shared Services departments. The expansion is foreseen in all sites and includes the opening of satellite offices in Basel and Boston. We are looking for approximately 125 additional colleagues in, amongst others, Clinical Development, Clinical Operations, Regulatory, Biometrics, Drug Discovery, Marketing, Information Systems, and Finance in order to be able to meet our goals.