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Procter & Gamble to Use Galapagos Adenoviral Tools to Validate Gene Targets

NEW YORK, Oct. 22 - Functional genomics company Galapagos Genomics and Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals have entered into a gene target-discovery and -validation research collaboration, the firms said on Monday.  

Terms of the two-year agreement call for Galapagos, of Mechelen, Belgium, to supply P&GP with adenoviral vectors that contain human genes selected by P&GP researchers. Galapagos will construct the recombinant adenoviruses using its PhenoSelect expression platform, the company said in a statement. 

The exact number of vectors was not disclosed, but Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos, said the number is between 10 and 100. 

P&GP, in turn, will use these viruses to introduce and express newly discovered genes into human cells in vitro. The Procter & Gamble Company division also will evaluate the function of the proteins encoded by the genes. 

Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed. 

Neither company would specify what targets or disease states were identified for validation, but van de Stolpe said that his company’s adenoviral technology can “get into any human cell type,” and enables genes to be tested “in any therapeutic area” except the central nervous system.

Gordon Hassing, Procter & Gamble vice president of R&D, said: “This collaboration adds to our armamentarium of methods to move quickly from genomic information to the invention of important new therapeutic agents across our areas of interest in drug development.”

Last month, Galapagos Genomics had extended its deal with Incyte Genomics to further develop an adenoviral library for Incyte’s in-house drug-development program. 

Under the terms of that agreement, originated in November 2000, the companies will work to characterize the function of proteins Incyte is studying in its drug-discovery and target-validation programs.

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