December 19, 2017
1 min read

Galapagos to co-promote JAK-1 inhibitor if approved for IBD, RA

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Biotech company Galapagos has opted to co-promote filgotinib with its partner Gilead Sciences should the drug be approved in Europe, according to a press release.

Filgotinib is an investigational oral Janus kinase 1 (JAK1)-selective inhibitor under evaluation in Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis, and several other indications that are still in phase 2.

“With this decision, Galapagos takes the next step in its development and moves towards the commercial phase,” Onno van de Stolpe, CEO and founder of Galapagos, said in the press release. “We and Gilead are preparing the potential launch of filgotinib, during which time Galapagos plans to build a commercial infrastructure to co-promote with Gilead. It is gratifying that, after all the early years of innovation, Galapagos is now preparing to commercialize the first asset arising from our discovery efforts.”

With this decision, Galapagos will take on 35% of co-promotion in eight European countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Both companies will share net profits and losses, but Galapagos will book the sales in the Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg markets. Outside the European territories, Galapagos can receive tiered royalties of 20% to 30% of global net sales.

As we previously reported, Galapagos partnered with Gilead in December 2015 to develop and commercialize filgotinib globally. Under the agreement, Gilead acquired a 13.27% stake in Galapagos for a $725 million initial payment comprising a $300 million licensing fee and an equity investment of $425 million. Furthering the agreement, the companies entered a lock-up and standstill arrangement, which expires on December 31, 2017, according to the press release.

Galapagos’ co-promotion move and the expiration of the lock-up and standstill agreement has fueled rumors of a possible takeover of Galapagos by Gilead. As Bloomberg reported, Galapagos shares rose almost 9% after the announcement, but a buyout is “far from inevitable” given the competitive autoimmune drug market. – by Adam Leitenberger

Disclosures: van Stolpe is employed by Galapagos.