VIB, CD3 and Galapagos NV enter into a license deal for the development of MALT1 inhibitors

10 January 2018
Today, VIB, the Centre for Drug Design and Discovery of KU Leuven (CD3) and Galapagos NV signed an exclusive license and collaboration agreement for the development of novel MALT1 inhibitors as therapeutics in inflammatory and/or oncological diseases.

This new partnership builds on the small molecule MALT1 protease inhibitors jointly identified and developed by CD3 and VIB and is based on the world-leading expertise at VIB on MALT1. The VIB teams of Thijs Baens and Peter Marynen at VIB-KU Leuven, and Rudi Beyaert at VIB-UGent have an extensive track record in high-impact publications on MALT1. They identified MALT1 as an important regulator of the NF-κB signaling pathway and demonstrated its potential as a drug target for inhibition of its proteolytic activity in the treatment of auto-immune disorders and certain types of cancer.

For the MALT1 program, VIB and CD3 have now exclusively partnered with Galapagos, a leading, global biotechnology company with deep expertise in drug development in inflammatory diseases. Galapagos will continue the development of the MALT1 inhibitors towards clinical application in a number of therapeutic indications, supported by a broad collaboration with key opinion leaders at VIB, and the drug discovery capabilities at VIB’s Discovery Sciences and CD3.

Under the terms of the agreement, Galapagos will receive exclusive option rights from VIB and CD3 to the lead-stage inhibitors as well as exclusive license rights for subsequent pre-clinical and clinical development and commercialization. The agreement includes an upfront payment, development and sales milestone payments based upon the achievement of development and regulatory goals.  VIB and CD3 are eligible to receive royalty payments on future products developed under the agreement.

Johan Cardoen, Managing Director of VIB comments: “We believe this is a landmark deal for VIB and yet again proves VIB’s long-term commitment to translating our scientific insights into value-creation and novel therapies to improve patients’ lives. We’re extremely pleased that Galapagos, one of the prime biotech companies emerging from Flanders’ life sciences hotspot, will pursue this asset with its deep expertise in drug discovery and development. We’re confident that matching the globally excelling expertise of VIB, CD3 and Galapagos puts this program in a pole-position to achieve major patient impact.”

 “It is great to be able to partner this very exciting MALT1 program with Galapagos and to further collaborate with VIB and Galapagos on the development of the promising compounds”, says Patrick Chaltin, Managing Director of CD3 at KU Leuven. “This agreement emphasizes once again that early innovative academic science can be turned into valuable assets for biotech and pharma, thanks to CD3’s co-creation model, in which we collaborate with excellent academic research groups to develop new innovative drugs.”


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