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First therapy developed by Galapagos ready for the market

Biotech company Galapagos, situated in Mechelen, has released promising test results concerning its anti-inflammatory medication filgotinib for arthritis patients. The long-awaited clinical trial results have now shown that the drug works better than a placebo, and in most cases, even better than leading arthritis medication Humira.  


Meeting high expectations

In the case of filgotinib, side effects are similar to or less severe than those seen in patients receiving other medications or placebos. Over the last few years, Galapagos published test results obtained with smaller patient groups. But now, larger groups of patients have also been tested and the results finalized. With these now made public, the biggest steps towards regulatory approval have been taken.

Lucrative industry

Based on previous test results, analysts predict a peak turnover of EUR 3 to 5 billion per year from the sale of filgotinib. However, the revenues generated jointly by Galapagos and its American partner Gilead, which is responsible for international commercialization. Filgotinib, the most advanced therapy developed thus far, is crucial for the valuation of Galapagos, which is listed on the Bel20 index.

Filgotinib: the future of arthritis treatments

Filgotinib is a JAK inhibitor, a new type of arthritis medicine with a different mode of action from its predecessors. Of those JAK inhibitors, only two are available on the market. The final tests have confirmed that the JAK inhibitor developed by Galapagos has fewer side effects, including a lower risk of thrombosis. Arthritis, which affects one in one hundred people, is the largest market for the pharma industry and valued at USD 20 billion (about EUR 18 billion).

More info

Reported by
De Tijd newspaper
16 April 2019

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