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How Gilead deal positions Galapagos to become Europe’s next big biotech

Gilead deal sets Galapagos up as a European leader and provides template others can follow

Galapagos’ pipeline partnership with Gilead sets the company up to become an independent leader of European biotech for years to come, and provides a template that other platform companies could follow.

The July 14 deal not only provides Galapagos N.V. with over $5 billion for R&D expansion or strategic acquisitions, it’s also structured to ensure that neither partner Gilead Sciences Inc., nor any other company, can acquire the Belgian biotech over the next 10 years.

That assured independence, coupled with plans to build out an R&D team that rivals Gilead’s, sets the stage for Galapagos to join the ranks of European mid-cap Genmab A/S and seed the growth of a mid-cap or large-cap biotech universe that hasn’t existed in Europe.

“At the moment, there aren’t any companies that investors can really look up to like the Amgens and Biogens of this world. And we need those European role models.”

Onno van de Stolpe, Galapagos

Its market cap now sits at $9.8 billion.

Historically, many would-be leaders of European biotech have lost their independence because they were unable to bring an innovative asset to market that could generate meaningful revenues or because they failed to produce a pipeline interesting and deep enough to attract capital after more advanced programs failed (see “Europe’s Bellwether Challenge”). Galapagos’ deal serves as an example of how European companies can

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