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Galapagos divests CRO operations to pursue biotech path

Sells Argenta and BioFocus to Charles River Laboratories for up to €134m

GalapagosGalapagos has sold its Argenta and BioFocus service operations as part of a bid to reorient its business model from a “hybrid drug discovery service and pipeline company” to a research-focused biotech firm.

The company said the proceeds from the €134m deal with Charles River Laboratories would be used to progress a pipeline that includes the phase 2 JAK1 (Janus kinase 1) inhibitor GLPG0634.

Galapagos' CEO Onno van de Stolpe said: “With this transaction, Galapagos transforms from a hybrid drug discovery service and pipeline company into a research and development biotech focusing on developing innovative drugs for unmet medical needs.

“We have created significant value in building our service activities, and BioFocus and Argenta have greatly contributed to our current pipeline. The time has now come to move into the next phase of the Company with our focus on the pipeline, and to let Argenta and BioFocus continue their success under the wings of Charles River.”

The deal with Charles River is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014 and will see all staff at BioFocus and Argenta, which between them have more than 340 employees, join the contact research organisation (CRO).

The transition will be led by the CEO of Galapagos Services David Smith, who will join Charles River as corporate vice president, in vitro discovery services.

James Foster, Charles River's  CEO, said: “The acquisition of Argenta and BioFocus is precisely in line with our strategy to build a broader portfolio of essential products and services to support the drug discovery and development continuum and the increasing virtualisation of the biopharmaceutical industry.

 “We believe that this acquisition expands our unique drug discovery and early-stage development focus and advances Charles River's position as a market leader in the fast-growing outsourced discovery services market.”

17th March 2014

From: Research

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