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Biotechnology firm Galapagos has started dosing patients in its Phase II EQUATOR clinical trial of filgotinib for the treatment of moderately to severely active psoriatic arthritis.

Developed using the firm's target and drug discovery technology platform, filgotinib is an investigational, highly selective JAK1 inhibitor.

Galapagos has entered global collaboration with Gilead to develop and commercialise filgotinib in inflammatory indications.

The first dosing in this Phase II trial is set to trigger a $10m milestone payment from Gilead.

The multi-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled EQUATOR trial is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of filgotinib in 124 adults who are intolerant or have an inadequate response to standard disease-modifying therapy.

"The trial's primary objective is the measure of percentage of patients who have reached ACR20 response when compared to placebo."

The trial's primary objective is the measure of percentage of patients who have reached ACR20 response when compared to placebo.

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The secondary outcome measures include minimal disease activity (MDA), percentage of participants reaching ACR50 and ACR70 responses, and measure of psoriatic arthritis response criteria compared to placebo.

The trial will also assess percentage of subjects gaining DAS28 (CRP) score, SDAI response, CDAI response and EULAR response in addition to psoriatic arthritis response criteria (PsARC).

Filgotinib is also being studied in TORTUGA Phase II clinical trial for ankylosing spondylitis, FINCH Phase III programme to treat rheumatoid arthritis, DIVERSITY Phase III trial for Crohn's disease, SELECTION Phase IIb/III trial in ulcerative colitis and Phase II trial for Sjögren's syndrome.   

Galapagos discovers and develops small-molecule drugs for multiple indications such as cystic fibrosis, inflammation, fibrosis and osteoarthritis.