Galapagos NV is bolstering its ability to select drug targets and compounds by acquiring Inpharmatica Ltd in an all-share transaction that values the UK bioinformatics company at €12.5 million.
Inpharmatica's technologies for drug discovery will bolster Mechelen, Belgium-based Galapagos' position by improving its ability to select targets and compounds based on predictive models.
These technologies include Admensa, a method of prioritising chemical compounds in drug screening, and Chematica for selecting drugable targets. Both have been adopted by the pharmaceuticals industry, with customers including Pfizer and Schering-Plough.
In its most recent funding round in July 2001, Inpharmatica raised £31.25 million, enabling it to set up a laboratory to take compounds it discovered into preclinical development. Investors included Dresdner Kleinwort Capital, Abingworth Management, Advent Venture Partners, Gilder Investment, Vertex Management, 3i Group plc, Unibio Ltd and GIMV.
The company raised £1 million seed funding when it was spun out of University College London in 1998, and £3 million its first formal round in March 1999.
As part of the acquisition, Galapagos will obtain certain rights to Inpharmatica’s internal PPAR-delta drug development programme in obesity and diabetes, which has reached the stage of candidate selection.
The deal enriches Galapagos’ ability to provide a full range of drug discovery and development services from target discovery to clinical proof of concept. “Adding proprietary target and compound selection tools to our platform provides an even broader array of drug discovery solutions for both our internal R&D and for our services business," commented Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos.
At the same time Galapagos concluded an agreement with the ALS Association, a US body dedicated to finding a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, under which the company’s service division BioFocus will to identify drug targets for the development of new ALS therapies.
Under the terms of the agreement, Galapagos will receive up to €2.4 million from the ALS Association and has the option to further develop certain targets identified in the programme.