Atopic dermatitis

Our AtD programs

Atopic dermatitis (AtD), is a chronic pruritic (itching) inflammatory skin disease that most frequently starts in early childhood, often persists into adulthood, but may also have an adult onset. According to GlobalData, sales of AtD therapies in the 7 major healthcare markets may reach $4 billion in 2016, with 35 million patients diagnosed with the disease and 10 million patients being treated in those markets. The main features of AtD are the impairment of the skin barrier and dysfunction of the immune system accompanied with dry skin and severe pruritus that is associated with cutaneous hyperactivity to various environmental stimuli. The pruritus (itching) may lead to sleep loss, anxiety, depression and impaired social life and is therefore considered as highest therapeutic need in AtD. Generic drugs are the approved standard of care, including immunomodulators cyclosporine and mycophenolate mofetil and topical treatments. There are disease-modifying biologics in development.

MOR106 is a human monoclonal antibody designed to selectively target IL-17C. IL-17C is a target discovered by us and has been shown to be distinct from other members of the IL-17 cytokine family, playing an important and pro-inflammatory role in certain skin disorders. MOR106 potently inhibits the binding of IL-17C to its receptor and thus inhibits its biological activity.

MOR106 arises from a discovery and co-development alliance between Galapagos and MorphoSys, in which both companies contribute their core technologies and expertise.

We are currently evaluating MOR106 in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 1 trial, with the aim to evaluate safety and tolerability. As secondary endpoints, the trial will assess pharmacokinetics and potential immunogenicity of MOR106.

The first part of the trial was conducted in a single center in 56 healthy volunteers, evaluating single ascending doses (SAD) as intravenous infusion compared to placebo. MOR106 showed favorable safety and PK results when administered to healthy volunteers in the ongoing trial. Subsequently an investigation was started of multiple ascending doses (MAD) compared to placebo in approximately 24 patients with moderate to severe AtD in several European centers. Topline results of the complete trial, including the MAD part in patients and further results from the SAD part in healthy volunteers, are expected in the second half of 2017.

In June 2016, we nominated a second candidate drug for AtD, GLPG2534, with an undisclosed novel mechanism of action aimed at atopic dermatitis and which is different from the target of MOR106. This small molecule candidate is fully proprietary to us and is expected to enter Phase 1 trials in 2017.