Belgium-based biopharmaceutical firm Galapagos has begun the Phase I clinical trial of GLPG3067 for the treatment of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF).
The trial initiation has triggered a $7.5m milestone payment from the firm's collaboration partner AbbVie.
GLPG3067 is the third potentiator of Galapagos' CF drug candidates, being developed as part of the alliance between the firms to discover, develop and commercialise new therapies for the disease.
To be conducted in up to 48 healthy subjects, the randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled, single-centre trial will assess the safety and tolerability of oral GLPG0367 and GLPG3067 + GLPG2222 combination, as well as the pharmacokinetics of GLPG0367.
Galapagos chief scientific officer Dr Piet Wigerinck said: "We continue to explore additional molecules to enrich our growing portfolio of cystic fibrosis drug candidates.
"We plan to initiate multiple studies within our CF portfolio in the course of this year, as we get closer to our goal of initiating a patient evaluation of a triple combination therapy by mid-2017."
The first part of the trial will evaluate single ascending doses of GLPG3067, while the second part will include administration of multiple ascending doses of GLPG3067 for 14 days.
Galapagos and AbbVie are working towards addressing three complementary components of CF with a potential combination therapy.
Galapagos is currently evaluating potentiator GLPG2451 and corrector GLPG2222 in healthy participants.
The firms intend to further add corrector GLPG2737 for a triple combination therapy that will be initially assessed in healthy volunteers and later in patients with the F508del mutation.