Growing up Galapagos

How Gilead deal for filgotinib could allow Galapagos to complete its transition

With a new partner for filgotinib, Galapagos N.V. is poised to enter Phase III testing for the first time, after a five-year period of Phase II disappointments and scuttled deals. The new deal with Gilead Sciences Inc. also could help the company complete its transition into a pure product play with a marketed drug.

Even before putting its first compound into the clinic seven years ago, Galapagos billed itself as a discovery services company that also developed in-house programs. As the company's pipeline advanced, synergies with the service divisions diminished, and in spring of 2014, Galapagos sold off two of its three service businesses.

But early internal programs struggled in the clinic: Galapagos dropped two Phase II programs due to lack of efficacy. At least three other programs have been returned by partners due to pipeline pruning.

Filgotinib nearly suffered the same fate, with the loss of partner AbbVie Inc. last September. But Galapagos quickly recovered, announcing

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