The Belgian drug discovery company Galapagos has been awarded a total of €5.2 million in grants from the Netherlands and the European Union for several drug development projects. The aim is to create candidate drugs for conditions such as bone and joint disease, as well as novel cancer drugs.

The largest share of the research funding - €2.9 million - has been put into the pot by the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs and Education, Culture and Science. Under the subsidy programme SmartMix, which encourages cooperation between companies, civil-society organisations and universities, the money will finance an eight-year programme aspiring to develop new disease models in order to speed up the discovery of new drugs for bone and joint diseases. A further €1.5 million comes from Top Institute Pharma.

In a four-year programme, Galapagos, the University Medical Centre Utrecht, the Hubrecht Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences and the Dutch biotechnology company Agamyxis will join forces in the search for novel cancer drugs.

Finally, two three-year projects studying cancer progression are receiving €0.8 million funding from the EU's research framework programmes. The studies will focus on time and cost effective development of anti-cancer compounds.

Welcoming the continued government support, Galapagos CEO Onno van de Stolpe said: "these grants enable us to accelerate our internal discovery activities in bone and joint diseases and also to apply our technologies in other areas of unmet medical need."

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