Our IPF trials

Our fibrosis portfolio
CSR report


Our most advanced IPF asset is our product candidate GLPG1690, a potent and selective inhibitor of autotaxin (ATX), for which Gilead in-licensed ex-European rights in July 2019 and which is currently in Phase 3.

We have received orphan drug designation for GLPG1690 in IPF from the FDA and the European Commission.

We identified ATX as a potential target for IPF, after finding the target using an inflammation assay in our target discovery platform. We evaluated GLPG1690 in a preclinical lung fibrosis model (bleomycin-treated mice) and observed effects on reducing the fibrotic score, numerically favoring GLPG1690 over Esbriet.

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. A publication by Palmer et al. published in Chest in 2018 on the Phase 2 trial data with BMS-986020, a high-affinity LPA1 antagonist developed by Bristol Meyers Squib, showed that BMS-986020 had activity in reducing loss of Forced Vital Capacity in mL (FVC) in IPF patients. LPA1 acts downstream of autotaxin in the biology of IPF, supporting further evaluation of ATX inhibition.

In the course of 2019, BMS published data from the Phase 2 trial with BMS-986020 demonstrating that this compound slowed the rate of FVC decline in a dose-dependent manner, with significance versus placebo. The study was terminated due to off-target effects linked to the compound. However, the reduction in slope estimate over 26 weeks (shown below) indicates that this pathway may be effective in impacting the course of IPF and further validates our approach with GLPG1690.

BMS validation of ATX pathway in patients

BMS validation of ATX pathway in patients (graphic)

In August 2017, we announced positive topline results for our Phase 2a FLORA trial in IPF patients.  This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 23 IPF patients investigated a once-daily 600 mg oral dose of GLPG1690 or placebo of whom 17 received GLPG1690 and six received placebo. The primary objectives of the trial included the assessment of safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of GLPG1690 in an IPF patient population. Secondary objectives included the evaluation of lung function, changes in disease biomarkers, functional respiratory imaging (FRI), and quality of life. The IPF diagnosis was confirmed by central reading.

Over the 12-week period, patients receiving GLPG1690 showed an FVC increase of 8 mL, while patients on placebo showed an FVC reduction of 87 mL (mean from baseline):

FVC: stabilization by ’1690

FVC: stabilization by ’1690 (line chart)

FU: follow-up

In addition to the demonstrated absence of lung function decline over the 12-week period, more sensitive FRI confirmed disease stabilization in the GLPG1690 arm, versus disease progression in the placebo arm, reaching nominal statistical significance on two specific parameters, despite the trial not being powered for significance:

FRI: airway volume & resistance

Significant difference between ‘1690 & placebo

FRI: airway volume & resistance – Significant difference between ‘1690 & placebo (bar chart)

Patients on GLPG1690 treatment showed a clear reduction of serum LPA18:2, a biomarker for autotaxin inhibition, as expected based on the mechanism of action of GLPG1690. Thus, the level of target engagement observed in Phase 1 with healthy volunteers was confirmed in IPF patients in FLORA.

GLPG1690 was found to be generally well-tolerated in this Phase 2 FLORA trial. Rates of discontinuation due to adverse events, as well as serious adverse event rates, were similar between patients on GLPG1690 and placebo.

The full FLORA results were published in The Lancet Respiratory (Maher et al. 2018).  

Following the encouraging results from the FLORA trial, in 2018 we announced the design of our worldwide Phase 3 program, ISABELA, based on feedback from the FDA and EMA. The ISABELA Phase 3 program consists of two identically designed trials, ISABELA 1 & 2, and plan to enroll a total of 1,500 IPF patients combined. Recruitment will be worldwide, with a significant proportion of patients in the U.S. and Europe. The program is intended to support application for a broad label in IPF in both the NDA and Market Authorization Application (MAA) submissions in, respectively, the U.S. and EU. Patients continue on their standard of care and are randomized to one of two doses of GLPG1690 or placebo. The primary endpoint is the rate of decline of FVC (in mL) until week 52. Secondary assessments include respiratory-related hospitalizations, mortality, quality of life, safety and tolerability.

All patients will continue on their treatment until the last patient in their respective trial has completed 52 weeks of treatment. Therefore, some patients will remain in the study for substantially longer than 52 weeks. This approach will allow assessment of less frequent clinical events that are otherwise difficult to assess in conventional clinical studies of one-year duration.

The following is an overview of the ISABELA trial design:

Phase 3 program ISABELA 1&2

Phase 3 program ISABELA 1&2 (graphic)
  • 1,500 IPF patients total in two identical Phase 3 studies
  • Patients remain on standard of care throughout
  • Global program with U.S. & EU component
  • Primary endpoint: FVC at Week 52
  • Secondary endpoints: hospitalizations, mortality, quality of life, safety/tolerability

First patient dosing in ISABELA was announced in December 2018, and as of early 2020, nearly all centers were opened and >800 patients were randomized. We announced that a futility analysis for the ISABELA program is expected to read out in Q1 2021.

Since closing of our collaboration agreement with Gilead in 2019, Galapagos and Gilead share the costs for ISABELA 1 & 2. Galapagos will be responsible for commercial sales of GLPG1690 in Europe, should the candidate be approved; Gilead will be responsible for all commercial activities ex-Europe. See also further details on the Gilead collaboration in the Notes to the consolidated financial statements.


The second product candidate for IPF in our pipeline is GLPG1205, currently in a Phase 2 trial called PINTA.

GLPG1205 is a small molecule selectively inhibiting GPR84, a target discovered by us. GLPG1205 showed a reduction in signs and symptoms in IPF animal models and has shown favorable tolerability in healthy volunteers and UC patients in previous trials.

PINTA is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating a 100mg once-daily oral dose of GLPG1205. The drug candidate or placebo will be administered for 26 weeks in up to 60 IPF patients. Patients may remain on their local standard of care as background therapy. The primary objective of the trial is to assess the change from baseline (FVC in mL over 26 weeks compared to placebo. Secondary measures include FRI, safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, time to major events, changes in functional exercise capacity, and quality of life. IPF diagnosis will be confirmed by central reading. Recruitment for PINTA took place in Europe and the Middle East.

PINTA Phase 2 in IPF

PINTA Phase 2 in IPF (graphic)
  • 60 IPF patients on local standard of care
  • Primary endpoint: forced vital capacity (FVC) at Week 26
  • Secondary endpoints: safety, tolerability, broad range of measurements, incl. FRI
  • Recruitment in Europe & Middle East

The first patient dosing was announced in October 2018, and recruitment was completed in early 2020, with topline results from this trial expected in H2 2020.