Cooperating on ground-breaking developments

Galapagos, a pharmaceutical research company founded in 1999, has signed a deal with pharma multinational Gilead. As a result, Gilead will have access to Galapagos’ ground-breaking medicines and new growth opportunities in its areas of specialisation, including fibrosis and arthritis. Galapagos, on the other hand, gains substantial funds to develop and commercialise its drugs. Since the companies have chosen to form a partnership rather than pursue a takeover – an unusual move in the sector – Galapagos also retains the European sales rights for its experimental medicines.

Partnering up for medical advances

In a statement, Gilead’s new chief executive Daniel O’Day says: “We chose to partner with Galapagos because of its pioneering target and drug discovery platform, proven scientific capabilities and outstanding team.” As part of the deal, Gilead will spend $1.1 billion (€987 billion) to lift its Galapagos stake to 22% from 12.3%. The deal also includes a ten-year standstill agreement, preventing Gilead from raising its stake in Galapagos above 29.9%.

The two companies first joined forces four years ago to develop a drug targeting inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. The resulting drug, filgotinib, is Galapagos’s most advanced drug in development. 

Founded and headquartered in Belgium, Galapagos also has facilities in the Dutch university town Leiden, making it part of the Netherlands’ thriving life sciences and health ecosystem where internationally renowned universities and research institutes regularly work with private companies in pursuit of advances in medicine and healthcare.

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