Galapagos has been awarded a €2.5 million (approximately $3.4 million) grant from the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT) for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research and development. The goal of this two and a half year project is to identify new therapeutic compounds for future treatment of IBD patients.
The purpose of the IWT-funded program is to gain better insight into the roles of GPR43 and two undisclosed targets in the pathobiology of chronic inflammatory disorders, in order to understand their therapeutic value. Galapagos will collaborate in this project with Paul Rutgeerts, M.D., Ph.D., and Séverine Vermeire, M.D., Ph.D., from the Catholic University of Leuven, and the research group of Professor Dr. Martine De Vos at Ghent University.
The first compound that will be tested in IBD patients is GLPG0974, an inhibitor of target GPR43 (also known as FFA2). This target is one of the three whose role in IBD will be investigated. Galapagos recently completed a second Phase I clinical study with GLPG0974, and results are expected to be reported later this quarter. In April, Galapagos will start a proof of concept study with GLPG0974 in ulcerative colitis.