AbbVie has announced that it will assume full development and commercial responsibility for its collaboration with Galapagos to discover and develop new therapies to treat cystic fibrosis (CF).

AbbVie's research program aims to develop a triple-combination therapy for patients living with cystic fibrosis. Currently in early clinical development, the program consists of mechanistically distinct drug-candidates, termed "potentiators" and "correctors", which collectively increase the activity of the mutated copies of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein that causes CF.

Under a revised definitive agreement approved by both companies, AbbVie will assume full development and commercial responsibility over the investigational program comprising several clinical and pre-clinical compounds originally discovered and developed jointly by AbbVie and Galapagos.

Galapagos will not pursue further research and development in CF, but is eligible for future milestones and royalties on commercialised programs. Galapagos retains the right to future development of GLPG-2737 in non-CF indications. AbbVie is eligible to receive undisclosed future milestones and royalties in non-CF indications.

"AbbVie has a long-standing commitment to finding improved treatment options for CF and our recent work has resulted in advancements that have broadened our understanding of the molecular and genetic basis of this disease," said Michael Severino, M.D., executive vice president of research and development and chief scientific officer, AbbVie. "Our previous work with Galapagos has identified a number of promising candidates and we thank them for their contribution to our partnership."

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that affects the lungs, pancreas, and other vital organs, and may result in serious complications or death. More than 70,000 people worldwide are living with CF, with approximately 1,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Typically diagnosed in early childhood, more than half of people living with CF are over 18 years of age and generally have a 50 percent shorter average lifespan compared to the general population.