G protein-coupled receptors: Structure-based drug discovery from crystals to the clinic
London, UK, 13 July 2017 – Heptares Therapeutics (“Heptares”), the wholly-owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation (TSE Mothers Index: 4565), hosts a scientific symposium today to celebrate its 10-year anniversary. The symposium, entitled “G protein-coupled receptors: Structure-based drug discovery from crystals to the clinic,” will cover key aspects of the Company’s unique GPCR-focused structure-based drug design (SBDD) platform; important milestones in its development; and its application by Heptares to create a broad and diverse pipeline of novel drug candidates, which are being developed by the Company and its partners to treat multiple diseases. A distinguished guest list of scientific collaborators, partners and associates will attend the event, which is being held at the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC LMB) in Cambridge, UK.
Heptares was founded in in 2007 by Malcolm Weir, Fiona Marshall, Richard Henderson and Chris Tate, with the aim to develop, apply and commercialise pioneering research on GPCR stabilization and crystallization from the MRC LMB. This research enabled, for the first time, the detailed three-dimensional X-ray structures of GPCRs in clinically relevant conformations to be determined. Since then, the Company has become one the UK’s most successful science-based companies and established itself as a world-leader in GPCR SBDD.
The Company has elucidated over 150 GPCR co-structures; formed licensing deals with global pharmaceutical companies (including Allegan, AstraZeneca, Teva) for access to its first wave of novel drug candidates; drug discovery partnerships (e.g. Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Daiichi Sankyo) to design new molecules to partner-nominated GPCR targets; co-development agreements (e.g. PeptiDream, Kymab) to leverage complementary technologies on selected targets; and academic collaborations (e.g. with Cambridge University, Imperial College London, and New York University) to better understand the biology of interesting and potentially important GPCRs.
Heptares has grown to over 100 highly skilled employees from around the world. Since it became part of Sosei in 2015, Heptares has become the central part of its growth strategy, with the potential to deliver a sustainable pipeline of new drug opportunities that eventually the Company aims to take from discovery all the way through to commercialisation.
Malcolm Weir, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Heptares, said: “Heptares is a fantastic example of how innovative UK science can, with a clear vision and determination, form the basis of a world-leading company. Heptares has developed and grown up over the years, and we are truly delighted to hold today’s anniversary symposium, and excited for what the future holds together with Sosei for this next phase in the Company’s life.”
Peter Bains, Chief Executive Officer of Sosei, added: “For Heptares to be celebrating its 10-year anniversary and having achieved so much in such a short space of time is an incredible feat, paying testament to the quality of science and leadership of the Company. Sosei expects Heptares to create and realise significant value over the coming years through the development of multiple potential new medicines for the treatment of rare and major diseases, and we couldn’t be more proud to have them as part of the Sosei group.”