MECHELEN, Belgium and CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom, Oct. 27, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Galapagos NV (Euronext: GLPG), a clinical stage biotech company focused on developing novel mode of action medicines, and Calchan Limited, a UK company focused on the development of novel medicines based on calcium ion channel modulators, today announce that they have entered into a research collaboration in the area of osteoarthritis pain.
Calchan has been awarded a £2.4 million grant from Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency, Biomedical Catalyst Early Stage Round 2to discover and develop compounds against a novel target for osteoarthritic pain. Calchan and Galapagos will collaborate in identifying pre-clinical candidates. Subsequently, Calchan and Galapagos may jointly progress the assets further into the clinic. Further financial details remain undisclosed.
Brenda Reynolds, Director of Calchan, commented: "We are delighted to have formed this research alliance with Galapagos and to have received this grant from Innovate UK. This is our second via this competitive process, and it provides further recognition of our leading expertise in the discovery and development of novel pain drug candidates. This new project will combine our capabilities and expertise in the shared aim of alleviating pain and suffering in osteoarthritic patients."
Onno van de Stolpe, Chief Executive Officer of Galapagos, commented: "Pain in osteoarthritis remains a major unmet medical need. This alliance with Calchan is based on the deep expertise of Galapagos in drug discovery, and complements our longstanding research efforts in osteoarthritis. Supported by the Biomedical Catalyst Early Stage Round 2 grant, we look forward to collaborating with Calchan to bring a new class of osteoarthritis pain medicines to the clinic."
As part of a restructuring of Convergence Pharmaceuticals in 2011, certain molecules in development were transferred into Calchan, a sister company, in which the proprietary rights are held. Calchan is developing its own portfolio of calcium ion channel modulators and has two Phase II clinical studies in progress in post-herpetic neuralgia and painful diabetic neuropathy. It has historically contracted Convergence Pharmaceuticals and other CROs to undertake certain research and development activities on its behalf.
Galapagos (Euronext: GLPG; OTC: GLPYY) is specialized in novel modes-of-action, with a pipeline comprising three Phase 2 studies, two Phase 1 studies, five pre-clinical, and 20 discovery small-molecule and antibody programs in cystic fibrosis, inflammation, antibiotics and metabolic disease. In the field of inflammation, AbbVie and Galapagos signed an agreement for the development and commercialization of GLPG0634. GLPG0634 is an orally-available, selective inhibitor of JAK1 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, currently in Phase 2B studies in RA and in Phase 2 in Crohn's disease. Galapagos has another selective JAK1 inhibitor, GSK2586184 (formerly GLPG0778, in-licensed by GlaxoSmithKline in 2012). AbbVie and Galapagos signed an agreement in cystic fibrosis to develop and commercialize molecules that address mutations in the CFTR gene. Potentiator GLPG1837 is expected to start Phase 1 in 2014. Galapagos also expects to nominate a pre-clinical candidate corrector before year end 2014. The Galapagos Group, including fee-for-service subsidiary Fidelta, has around 400 employees, operating from its Mechelen, Belgium headquarters and facilities in The Netherlands, France, and Croatia. Further information at: www.glpg.com
About Innovate UK - the UK's innovation agency
Innovate UK is the new name for the Technology Strategy Board - the UK's innovation agency. Taking a new idea to market is a challenge. Innovate UK funds, supports and connects innovative businesses through a unique mix of people and programmes to accelerate sustainable economic growth. For further information visit www.innovateuk.org
Catalysts are run jointly by Innovate UK and the Research Councils. A Catalyst is a form of research and development funding which focuses on a specific priority area and aims to help take projects from research to as close to commercial viability as possible. The Catalyst model supports projects in priority areas where the UK research base has a leading position and where there is clear commercial potential. Current Catalysts include: Biomedical Catalyst, Agri-tech Catalyst and the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst. For more details please visit: www.innovateuk.org/-/catalysts
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