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Galapagos sells off Fidelta as CRO activities ‘no longer fit with its strategy’

November 27, 2020
Life sciences

Galapagos is selling off its contract research organization Fidelta for $37 million to Polish life science company Selvita.

The Krakow, Poland-based company is snapping up Fidelta as it looks to bolster its position as one of the largest preclinical CROs in Europe.

Fidelta, with its R&D facilities based in Zagreb, Croatia, focuses on inflammation, fibrosis and anti-infectives, with 181 employees at the helm.

The CRO will change hands by early January and will continue under the Fidelta name but be subsumed into Selvita.

Galapagos said in a statement that in the years since creating the CRO, it now has a “deep pipeline of novel mechanism of action candidates and commercial operations in Europe; as such, the CRO activities offered by Fidelta no longer fit with its strategy.”

Fidelta saw sales of €17.4 million last year, with full-year 2020 on track “to become a record year” for the company, which has moved from being an R&D engine to an external CRO over the years.

“We are thrilled to announce our acquisition of Fidelta. This is a perfect fit for us: an extensively experienced organization, with a full range of in-house drug discovery capabilities and an established track record of clinical candidate delivery,” says Boguslaw Sieczkowski, CEO at Selvita.

“With this acquisition, we are not only executing our strategy announced this year, but we’re actually taking a leap in both the scope of our services portfolio and the scale of business. It is a transformative moment in the history of Selvita.”

“The scientific knowledge, the business acumen, and the focus and commitment of the team at Fidelta are second to none. I would like to thank the Fidelta team for the excellent collaboration over the years. I’m sure they will thrive under the Selvita umbrella. We will continue part of our discovery work with Fidelta, so we will benefit from that,” added Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos.

This comes after a series of R&D setbacks for the once high-flying Galapagos and partner Gilead Sciences, including most recently with GLPG1972, a Servier-partnered asset that in October failed to improve outcomes in knee osteoarthritis patients in a phase 2 clinical trial.

That failure was a major setback for Galapagos’ efforts to expand its opportunities beyond its faltering JAK1 inhibitor filgotinib, which has also been beset with issues; a month ago, the company paused enrollment in clinical trials of the Gilead-partnered med in three indications pending feedback from the FDA.

by Ben Adams

Source: fiercebiotech.com

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