Galapagos and BioFocus forms new biopharma outfit

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pharmacology Chief executive officer

Galapagos has announced that its acquisition of BioFocus' would
accelerate its transition to a fully integrated drug development
biopharmaceutical company after the two companies reached agreement
on the terms of a recommended all share offer.

The deal between the Galapagos,​ a genomics-based biotechnology company, and BioFocus,​ an integrated drug discovery company, comes off the back of a previous multi-target collaboration in which BioFocus' drug discovery engine was integrated with Galapagos' target validation tools and cellular models of human disease.

As a result the Galapagos Group will be able to offer a range of services to customers, from the discovery and validation of novel targets through to the design and delivery of preclinical candidates.

Under the terms of the agreement, Galapagos is offering shareholders 0.225 Galapagos shares for each BioFocus share held, valuing the company at about £20.2 million (€29.7 million) and each share at 124p. BioFocus said the offer represents a premium of about 121 per cent.

"The addition of BioFocus' medicinal chemistry and biology expertise to Galapagos' core target discovery capabilities is a significant leap forward in Galapagos' transition to a fully integrated drug discovery entity,"​ said Onno van de Stolpe, chief executive officer of Galapagos and proposed CEO of the enlarged Galapagos Group.

"We have been collaborating with BioFocus for over a year and we are impressed by their drug discovery capabilities. These will greatly accelerate our programmes in bone and joint diseases,"​ he added.

News of Galapagos' acquisition has come as no surprise within the industry, considering the type of deals the company has struck over the last two years.

July saw Galapagos announced it had entered into a research collaboration with Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

The deal saw Galapagos' genomics partnering division Galadeno, designing a research program for Novartis, in which its SilenceSelect (gene knock-down) platform for functional assays in human primary cell assays would be used.

Likewise, at the start of this year Galapagos entered into a target licensing and multi-year target identification collaboration in respiratory and inflammatory diseases with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Within the agreement, GSK gained a license to novel disease modifying drug targets that have been discovered by Galapagos in its asthma and allergy program

In addition to the target licensing, GSK entered into a three-year partnership with Galádeno, Galapagos' reagents and services division, to discover further targets that are disease modifying in asthma and inflammatory diseases.

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