BioFocus, CHDI collaborate to target Huntingdon’s

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Collaboration Contract research organization Galapagos

BioFocus is expanding its Huntingdon’s disease collaboration with CHDI by committing to take targets it developed in its earlier deal, through discovery as part of a five year, $41m (€31m) agreement.

Novel targets were discovered and validated in the earlier deal and BioFocus, a subsidiary of Galapagos, will now apply its integrated drug discovery capabilities to further development.

BioFocus is eligible to receive up to $41m for performing the work, eclipsing the earlier deal and making it the company’s largest external collaboration, Elizabeth Goodwin, director of investor relations at Galapagos, told Outsourcing-Pharma.

Goodwin added that the collaboration with CHDI Foundation, a non-profit virtual biotech focused on developing treatments for Huntingdon’s disease, is a great opportunity for BioFocus to showcase its capabilities.

The contract research organisation (CRO) has been profitable since 2008, listing a number of large pharma and biotech companies among its clients. Demonstrating its ability to work in challenging therapeutic areas is expected to further its development.

Goodwin said that BioFocus is an attractive partner for companies and patient groups operating in difficult therapeutic fields because of its ability to find new starting points for drugs.

Benefits to Galapagos

Acquiring BioFocus in October 2005 boosted Galapagos’ capabilities and allowed it to take a new approach to partnerships. Boosted by reliable revenues from BioFocus, Galapagos has entered into risk sharing alliances which will only result in payment if the project is successful.

Goodwin believes this has been an effective strategy. Galapagos has entered into collaborations with five of the top 10 pharma companies and its alliances are worth a total of $3bn in milestones.

Despite the risk sharing approach none of the deals are losing money, according to Goodwin, and revenues generated by the alliances helped Galapagos report a net profit in 2009.

Related topics Preclinical Research Preclinical

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