NEW YORK, Nov 14 – Incyte has signed a three-year agreement with Galapagos Genomics to develop and market an adenoviral gene expression platform, the companies announced Tuesday.
In this agreement, Galapagos of Mechelen, Belgium, will provide Incyte with PhenoSelect, its functional genomics platform of arrayed adenoviral vectors with human genes. Galapagos will also construct a new larger library of recombinant adenoviruses using full-length human genes from Incyte’s LifeSeq gold database.
The first 1,500 adenoviruses will be available in nine months and a second group of 10,000 viruses will become available in a little over two year.
“ Ultimately, we would like to have all of LifeSeq’s genes in an adenoviral format,” said Galapagos CEO Onno van de Stolpe.
The adenovirus platform is designed to enable pharma and biotech companies to better determine gene function. By injecting the adenovirus with a particular gene into cellular material, researchers can discern the effect over-expression has on the cell.
" The technology platform that Galapagos has developed will provide Incyte with an excellent tool for rapidly validating gene function,” Incyte CEO Roy Whitfield said in a statement. “This collaboration is consistent with our strategy to provide broad access to our genomic data and technologies in a variety of formats for use in expression studies."
Galapagos believes its gene function tools will help pharma validate the growing pile of gene-based targets coming out of genomics research.
“The problem with the current drug discovery methods is that pharma is stuck with a large number of targets and they have difficulty narrowing them down to validate a target,” said van de Stolpe.
To sort out genes that cause disease from those incidentally associated with it “pharma is looking more and more for a way to directly link functionality to a gene. This adenoviral vector format enables that,” he said.
Incyte subscribers will have to pay an additional as-yet undetermined fee to access this library, van de Stolpe said. Researchers will also be able to order individual genes and their associated adenoviruses from Incyte on a per-gene basis.
The parties did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement.