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Galapagos (GLPG) Filgotinib in Phase III for Crohn's Disease

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Galapagos NV (GLPG - Free Report) announced that it has dosed the first patient in a phase III study – DIVERSITY – on filgotinib for the treatment of Crohn’s disease. This triggered a milestone payment worth $50 million from Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD - Free Report) .

The study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of once-daily filgotinib (100 mg and 200 mg), compared to placebo, in patients with moderately-to-severely active Crohn’s disease, including those who failed previous biological therapy.

We remind investors that in Dec 2015, Galapagos signed a collaboration agreement with Gilead for the development and commercialization of filgotinib for inflammatory indications including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In Aug 2016, Gilead initiated a phase III program (FINCH) on filgotinib in RA. The FINCH program comprises three studies that will evaluate the safety and efficacy of once-daily filgotinib (100 mg and 200 mg) in patients from early stage to biologic-experienced.

Moreover, Gilead expects to start a phase II/III study for the treatment of ulcerative colitis later in the quarter.

Meanwhile, Galapagos continues to progress on its cystic fibrosis programs, with partner AbbVie Inc. (ABBV - Free Report) conducting several phase I and II studies.

Going forward, we expect investor focus to remain on further pipeline updates from the company.

Currently, Galapagos carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Stock to Consider

Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (VNDA - Free Report) is a better-ranked stock in the health care sector, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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