Brussels: the frustrating year of the Galapagos investor


“It is going very fast,” analysts suggested in Galapagos in February. Now they suggest the same thing, but in the opposite sense.

The contrast is enormous. 2019 was a wonderful year for Galapagos.

A tripling of the stock market price catapulted the people of Mechelen to the most valuable biotech companies in Europe.

And 2020 was to be the year of the breakthrough, with the European and American approval of the goldcrest filgotinib as a rheumatism. The half-year report shows that CEO Onno van de Stolpe remains on track in that area, although investors will drape a very manic-depressive price chart around it in the extreme year 2020.

Still, the share in morning trading crumbled to 153 euros. That is almost 100 euros or 38 percent below the peak of February (249.50 euros), when van de Stolpe had just completed a pre-corona in San Francisco at the influential JPMorgan pharma conference. At that price, the first analysts also started to ask questions about the very fast upward ride of the stock.

Now analysts again suggest that things have gone quite fast. But then in the opposite sense. Degroof Petercam raises the advice for Galapagos from ‘hold’ to ‘buy’, with a target price of 205 euros.

‘The share has fallen sharply in recent months. We believe this is an exaggerated response to the volatility that Covid-19 entails and the test results of filgotinib around ulcerative colitis. The latter were not perfect, but they were still competitive against rival resources in development, ”says analyst Benoit Louage.

KBC Securities, like UBS, will remain neutral after the half-year report. Analyst Lenny Van Steenhuyse: ‘We expect a volatile trade in the rest of 2020, with price upswing in news about a green light (for filgotinib as a rheumatic agent, ed.) from regulators and potential victims in the news flow about more risky studies in the second clinical trial phase. As a result, interesting entry opportunities may arise in the coming months. ” In other words, investors can place a limit in the market to take advantage of further price weaknesses.

The more positive sounds about the stock seem to have a little effect; At noon, Galapagos reduces the loss to 1.6 percent, to EUR 155.95.

Also in the news on the Brussels stock exchange:


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on profit. The insurer not only came up with clearly better than expected results, the shareholders will receive the majority of their dividend for the 2019 financial year, despite the negative advice from the regulators. KBC Securities changes from a lukewarm buy advice (‘accumulate’) to a warm (‘buy’) and raises the target price to 48 euros. “The positive impact of Covid-19 becomes clear and underlines the favorable positive that insurers in the Benelux find themselves”, says analyst Jason Kalamboussis. The damage branch benefited from the fact that there were logically a lot fewer traffic accidents during the lockdown.


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