Gilead signs 10-year, $5.1bn partnership with Galapagos

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Smshoot)
(Image: Getty/Smshoot)

Related tags Gilead Galapagos Filgotinib

Gilead extends partnership with Galapagos for 10 years, which will see the companies collaborate on six drug candidates and 20 preclinical programs.

Previously, Gilead had signed a potential multi-billion agreement with Galapagos​ in 2015, and the pair returned to the table to negotiate a 10-year extension to the deal.

The newly inked agreement dwarfs the prior version financially, with Galapagos receiving $3.95bn (€3.5bn) upfront and $1.1bn in equity investment. Dependent on development milestones, there could also be further pay-outs for Galapagos for its clinical portfolio.

Galapagos holds six programs in clinical development, which includes filgotinib – a small molecule JAK1 inhibitor being developed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease, alongside nine other potential indications.

Filgotinib has already progressed through Phase III trials and the partners will apply for regulatory approval in the US and Europe before the end of 2019. Profit sharing will be split evenly, while the newly signed agreement sees Galapagos take on a greater role co-commercializing the product in Europe.

In addition, Gilead will gain the rights for GLPG1690, a Phase III candidate for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and GLPG1972, a Phase II candidate for osteoarthritis.

The two partners will also work together closely on future R&D, with plans to progress 20 preclinical programs and for Gilead to work with Galapagos research base. This will see Gilead working with Galapagos 500-strong team of scientists and drug discovery platform, which uses human primary-cell based assays to develop new targets.

Daniel O’Day, CEO of Gilead, commented “Gilead gains exclusive access to all current and future compounds in Galapagos’ rich pipeline while Galapagos is able to expand its research activities and build commercial infrastructure.”

He continued, “The collaboration reflects Gilead’s intent to grow our innovation network through diverse and creative partnerships.”

The deal will see Gilead place two individuals on the Galapagos board of directors and increase its stake in the company to 22%, which could be extended to 29%, dependent upon shareholder approval.

Despite increasing its position, Gilead signed a 10-year ‘standstill’ agreement, meaning that it cannot seek to acquire Galapagos or increase its stake beyond the 29.9% until this period is over.

For Gilead, it represents another significant deal to broaden its pipeline after its $12bn acquisition of Kite in 2017​.

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