AbbVie will now have full control of the cystic fibrosis drug discovery portfolio it has developed in cooperation with Galapagos, retaining exclusive global rights.

Their collaborative CF portfolio includes two classes of CF therapeutics that work differently. They are ‘potentiators’ that ease the flow of chloride ions through the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) channel (CFTR is the gene defective in CF), and ‘correctors’ that help the CFTR protein to adopt a proper 3D structure, so the channel can be formed correctly and ease the flow of molecules though the cells’ membrane.

As part of the decision, Galapagos is set to receive $45 million upfront from AbbVie, and is eligible to an additional $200 million as milestone payments as AbbVie reaches certain pre-determined developmental, regulatory, and commercial accomplishments in the CF portfolio.