Galapagos’s losing streak with Jyseleca continues

Galapagos shares are down – again. The company was stymied by Jyseleca's failure in the 1,374-patient pivotal Diversity trial in Crohn’s disease. Both the 100mg and 200mg doses failed to show clinical remission or endoscopic response in biological treatment-naïve patients or biologic treatment-experienced. Galapagos has scrapped plans to file the drug in Europe, where it now holds all rights after Gilead renegotiated a 2019 deal which saw it pay almost $4bn to develop Jyseleca and several other Galapagos assets. Gilead’s growing disappointment with filgotinib was seen in its December announcement it would no longer be seeking US approval in rheumatoid arthritis. With yet another filgotinib development avenue cut off and a series of catastrophes, including Galapagos’s Toledo projects bombing in rheumatoid arthritis and blow ups in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the collaboration might be one of the most value destroying in the industry’s history. Galapagos shares, which were €250 in February 2020 dropped almost 9% today to €37.15. The only silver lining is that with so much money Galapagos could reverse its fortunes with some judicious acquisitions. Unfortunately, so far the group’s only big buy has been the $132m acquisition of Cellpoint, pitching it into the crowded Car-T market.

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