Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Our IPF programs

IPF is a chronic, relentlessly progressive fibrotic disorder of the lungs that typically affects adults over the age of 40. According to GlobalData, IPF affects approximately 109,000 patients in the U.S. and Europe and, as such, we have received orphan designation for our product candidate GLPG1690 in this indication from European authorities and we intend to seek orphan designation in the U.S. for our product candidates in IPF. The clinical prognosis of patients with IPF is poor, as the median survival at diagnosis is 2–4 years. Currently, no medical therapies have been found to cure IPF. The medical treatment strategy aims to slow disease progression and improve quality of life. Lung transplantation may be an option for appropriate patients with progressive disease and minimal comorbidities.

Regulatory agencies have approved Esbriet®1 Esbriet (pirfenidone) is marketed by Roche.and Ofev®2Ofev (nintedanib) is marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim. for the treatment of mild to moderate IPF. Both Esbriet and Ofev have been shown to slow the rate of functional decline in IPF and are gaining ground as the standard of care worldwide. Combined sales of both drugs reached $1.1 billion in 2016, with 74% of global revenues being in the U.S. These regulatory approvals represent a major breakthrough for IPF patients; yet neither drug improves lung function, and the disease in most patients on these therapies continues to progress. Moreover, the adverse effects associated with these therapies are considerable (e.g., diarrhea, liver function test abnormalities with Ofev, nausea and rash with Esbriet). Therefore, there is still a large unmet medical need as IPF remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality. GlobalData estimates global sales of approved IPF drugs will grow to nearly $2.4 billion in 2022.

GLPG1690 is a potent and selective inhibitor of autotaxin (ATX) and is fully proprietary to us. We identified ATX as a potential target for IPF, after finding the target using an inflammation assay in our target discovery platform. Pharmacology and translational studies published by other parties since then suggest that ATX may also play a role in metabolic disease, arthritic pain, oncology, and lung disease. We evaluated GLPG1690 in a pre-clinical lung fibrosis model (bleomycin-treated mice) and observed effects on reducing the fibrotic score, numerically favoring GLPG1690 over Esbriet.

GLPG1690 completed a Phase 1 first-in-human trial in February 2015. In this trial, GLPG1690 was shown to be well-tolerated in up to 1000 mg daily dose and demonstrated a favorable pharmacokinetic profile. Moreover, in this trial GLPG1690 demonstrated the ability to reduce plasma lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) levels on a sustained basis, implying ATX engagement.

We are currently finalizing a Phase 2a trial (called FLORA) in IPF patients. FLORA is fully recruited and we expect topline results in the second half of 2017. This randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind trial includes up to 24 patients with IPF from 17 centers in Europe and evaluates treatment with 600 mg of GLPG1690 for 12 weeks. Primary objectives are to assess safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of GLPG1690 in IPF patients. Target engagement will be measured by LPA in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, both at baseline and through 12 weeks of treatment. Secondary objectives include the evaluation of lung function, changes in disease biomarkers and quality of life.

In June 2016, we nominated a second candidate drug, GLPG2938, with an undisclosed novel mechanism of action aimed at IPF. This candidate is expected to enter Phase 1 trials in 2017.

1 Esbriet (pirfenidone) is marketed by Roche.
2 Ofev (nintedanib) is marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim.