BioFocus, the service division of Galapagos, has entered a three-year collaboration with Biogen Idec where it will use its SilenceSelect® platform and human skin models to deliver new assays and identify validated, disease-modifying targets in scleroderma to the biotech firm. 

BioFocus will receive an up-front payment, FTE funding, and will be eligible to receive success payments for the target discovery milestones it delivers, and also for development milestones achieved by Biogen Idec. The firms say the total value of this collaboration could reach $31 million.

“We believe Galapagos has unique expertise with relevant human primary cells, positioning them well to find new targets for disease-modifying therapies against scleroderma,” said Jo Viney, vp of discovery sciences at Biogen Idec.

According to BioFocus, its SilenceSelect collection consists of up to 17,000 shRNAs that can be used to knock down over 5,000 different human druggable targets. These 5,000 genes, the firm says, represent more than 11,000 transcript variants.

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