With the addition of uveitis, Galapagos and Gilead are raising to 10 the number of indications in filgotinib’s clinical pipeline.
Galapagos and Gilead clearly have big expectations for filgotinib. The small molecule is already in Phase III for rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The team is now launching a new Phase II trial in non-infectious uveitis, which adds up to other four new Phase II trials that were launched earlier this year in Sjögren’s syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus erythematosus.
Though these diseases are very different to each other, the trials are based in filgotinib’s ability to block JAK1, a protein involved in multiple inflammatory signaling pathways. This new indication will make the team step into ophthalmic diseases, where a number of biotechs are already developing their own approaches to treat uveitis. Among them are Elasmogen, developing small, shark-inspired antibodies; TxCell, working on a cell therapy; and Eyevensys, which is going after a virus-free gene therapy.
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