Company could pay Galapagos another $1.2 billion in success-based fees.

Abbott is paying Galapagos $150 million up front as part of a global collaboration to develop the latter’s oral JAK1 inhibitor inflammatory diseases candidate GLPG0634, which is undergoing Phase II evaluation as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Galapagos will complete Phase II trials with the candidate, and says it expects to deliver a complete Phase II package for the RA indication to Abbott in 2014. Under terms of the agreement, if the trials have met prespecified criteria Abbot will pay another $200 million to take over the program and continue developing and manufacturing GLPG0634 through Phase III development and commercialization worldwide.

Galapagos could earn another $1 billion in development, regulatory, commercial, and sales-based milestones, plus double-digit sales royalties. The firm retains co-promotion rights to GLPG0634 in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

The deal with Abbott will enable Galapagos to progress other candidates into the clinic, Onno van de Stolpe, CEO, comments. “We view Abbott to be the best partner possible to deliver a complete clinical program and a powerful market introduction…With GLPG0634 we have proven that we can deliver from target to clinical proof of concept, and we aim to do the same on many novel target programs in our pipeline.

GLPG0634 is a JAK1-specific inhibitor. In November Galapagos reported data from a Phase II proof-of-concept trial evaluating the drug in 36 patients with active RA who weren’t adequately responding to therapy with methotrexate. The results showed that 83% of patients receiving GLPG0634 reached the ACR20 score, and half went into either disease remission or low disease activity. Treatment using GLPG0634 also wasn’t associated with increases in LDL/cholesterol or anemia. 

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