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Together with its generally favorable results for 2015, ThromboGenics announced a collaboration with another well-known Belgian biotech company: Galapagos. ThromboGenics has signed an exclusive in-licensing agreement which grants access to a collection of integrin antagonists developed by Galapagos. These integrin antagonists could further be developed and commercialized into a novel small molecule therapy for diabetic eye diseases.

With 415 million diabetes worldwide, believed to double over the next 20 years and 1 in 3 patients developing diabetic retinopathy, the market for diabetic eye diseases is growing twice as fast as the overall ophthalmology market.

“This deal is a further important step in our goal to build one of the industry’s leading pipelines targeting diabetic eye disease based on novel disease modifying compounds,” commented Dr. Patrik De Haes, CEO of ThromboGenics.  “Diabetic eye disease is the fastest growing segment of the overall ophthalmology market, and the number of patients needing improved treatment options for both diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema is expected to grow significantly over the next decade.”

Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos, said: “We believe that ThromboGenics is a great partner for this collection of integrin antagonists that we have developed. ThromboGenics has shown thorough understanding of the back of the eye disease in the pre-clinical models that they have developed, in order to assess these potential drug candidates for both diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema. We are looking forward to watching their progress.”

The in-licensing of Galapagos small molecules is part of the revised research strategy of ThromboGenics, after its flagship therapy Jetrea® failed to meet its sales expectations. Galapagos will receive €1 million in upfront payments from ThromboGenics and is further entitled to development and commercial milestone payments and royalties of future sales.

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