What was AbbVie thinking? Backing out of a $1.4Bn deal to support Belgian biotech Galapagos’ rheumatoid arthritis candidate through its phase III, means NASDAQ stock is plummeting in value since Friday. With plans to work on its own phase II candidate instead, AbbVie is losing out on the potential of filgotinib, which will surely have a new biotech sponsor in their place by the end of the week.
The Galapagos story has been very positive until recently, with a €1.2Bn investment coming from US AbbVie for their JAK1 inhibitor, filgotinib. With strong phase II results for treatment of up to 900 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, filgotinib stirred an initial rush from pharma giants AbbVie and Johnson&Johnson, both of which who has rheumatoid drug patents due to soon expire.
This investment followed a more-than successful IPO launch into the US market, which smashed the IPO target of €134.3M in a public ‘bubble’ to become the largest Euopean biotech IPO on the US market ever at €240M.