Galapagos’ unit, Argenta signs $46m drug discovery deal with Janssen

By Alexandria Pesic

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Drug discovery, Contract

Galapagos’ acquisition, Argenta, has signed up to a $46m cancer drug discovery service deal with Janssen Pharmaceutica, aimed at delivering novel cancer drug candidates.

Under the agreement, the drug discovery company, Argenta, acquired by Galapagos in February 2010, will provide medicinal chemistry and biology for up to fifteen of Janssen’s oncology targets in a contract expected to exceed $46.2m (€33.5m) over five years for the initial phase of the partnership.

The Harlow, UK-based contract research group, Argenta, will work on a fee-for-service basis on hit-to-lead optimization of molecules against Janssen targets, as well as having an involvement in activities up to pre-clinical candidate selection and receiving success-based payments.

Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos, told Outsourcing-Pharma that “work has already commenced,”​ and the deal’s contract value “shows again how valuable Argenta is, and what an excellent acquisition [it] is proving to be for the Galapagos Group.”

He added that Janssen Pharmaceutica is already proving to be an “important partner for our service division as well as for our R&D division,” ​and went on to say, “we have a major risk-sharing alliance agreement with Janssen in rheumatoid arthritis worth ​€1bn, plus double-digit royalties on commercial sales.”

Thinking positively about what the collaboration will bring for the future, Galapagos expects to see an annual 10-15 per cent increase in revenues for its two service operations, Argenta and BioFocus, which the company claims are “the most successful companies in these service areas in the Western world.”

“We are seeing an increased demand for longer term, integrated deals in our services business which access a variety of our drug discovery capabilities,” ​commented van de Stolpe, “and with Argenta’s strong track record of delivering on integrated drug delivery programs, we are well positioned to meet this growing need.”

Winners of European Biotechnica award

In other Galapagos news, the Belgian biotech company has won the2010 European Biotechnica award, and a prize sum of €75,000, in a competition organized by Deutsche Messe and its partners.

“We are pleased to have won this year’s Biotechnica award, which recognises the power of Galapagos’ technology platform and its impact on the sector,”​ said van de Stolpe, adding, “We will continue to work toward achieving our ambition of becoming the leading innovative biotech in Europe.”

Related topics: Bio Developments

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