Galapagos identified a second preclinical compound in its alliance with Janssen Pharmaceutica, an achievement that triggered a milestone payment of €4 million (approximately $5.3 million) to Galapagos.

In 2007, Galapagos announced an alliance agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutica to discover and develop novel small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), under which Janssen may select up to 12 programs from Galapagos’ internally identified RA targets. For each alliance program licensed by Janssen, Galapagos could receive option exercise fees and milestone payments up to €73 million (near $97 million), plus royalties on net sales of each approved new RA drug. Janssen made an up-front cash payment of €15 million (around $19.9 million) to Galapagos and a €2 million (approximately $2.7 million) milestone payment for the selection of GT146, one of Galapagos’ advanced RA programs. The agreement as a whole was said to be worth over €926 million ($1.2 billion).

Today’s milestone relates to the delivery of a second preclinical candidate developed by Galapagos. The first preclinical candidate was identified in March of 2012, triggering a payment of €6.6 million (around $8.8 million). Galapagos also received a €3.4 million ($4.5 million) payment after achieving a milestone with respect to the GT146 program in January of 2008.

“We are very pleased to announce the delivery of a second candidate drug in the alliance with Janssen,” said Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos. “Galapagos is progressing multiple programs successfully across different alliances and delivering promising candidate drugs.”

Galapagos is using the money to grow—just yesterday, it acquired drug discovery technology company Cangenix and launched Fidelta, a new service division based at the Zagreb, Croatia, research site acquired in 2010 from GlaxoSmithKline.

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