BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS Galapagos Genomics NV closed an initial funding round that netted it EUR21.4 million (US$18.7 million).

The private placement was co-led by Abingworth Management, of London and Palo Alto, Calif.; Apax Partners, of Paris; and the U.S. merchant bank Burrill & Co. Other subscribers were NIB Capital, of Amsterdam, and existing shareholder Crucell Holland BV, of Leiden, the Netherlands.

Until now, Galapagos Genomics, of Mechelen, Belgium, was a joint venture between Crucell and Mechelen-based Tibotec-Virco NV, which established the company in 1999. It is specialized in target identification and validation using its proprietary adenovirus-based platform, PhenoSelect. This technology is based on Crucell’s PER.C6 human cell line expression platform, to which Galapagos has an exclusive license in functional genomics applications.

Over the past two years, Galapagos has entered into research collaborations with numerous biopharmaceutical companies, including Pharmacia Corp., of North Peapack, N.J.; Bayer Yakuhin, the Japanese affiliate of Bayer AG, of Leverkusen, Germany; Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass.; Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, a division of the Procter & Gamble Co., of Cincinatti; Incyte Genomics Inc., of Palo Alto; Euroscreen SA, of Brussels; and most recently, Exelixis Inc., of South San Francisco.