Galapagos affiliate Argenta has entered into a drug research agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals to develop novel drug candidates for cancer.

According to the agreement, Argenta will provide medicinal chemistry and biology for a number of Janssen’s oncology targets, provide lead optimisation and offer its services up to pre-clinical candidate selection.

Janssen will have the option to extend the services of Argenta beyond the initial set oncology targets, up to a total of 15.

The agreement value for Galapagos for the initial phase of partnership could exceed €33.5m ($46m), over a period of five years, depending upon the accomplishment of certain milestones.