Press release
May 24, 2018

Sosei collaboration with PeptiDream progressing well - Peptide antagonists with high affinity and selectivity against PAR2 target identified

Tokyo, Japan and London, UK, 24 May 2018 – Sosei Group Corporation (“Sosei” or the “Company”; TSE Mothers Index: 4565), the world leader in GPCR medicine design and development, provides an update on progress in its strategic collaboration with PeptiDream Inc., a public Kanagawa-based biopharmaceutical company (“PeptiDream”; TOKYO: 4587). The collaboration, which began in June 2017, to discover, develop and commercialise novel therapeutics targeting a specific G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) with an important role in inflammatory diseases, is progressing well.

The combination of Sosei’s StaR® platform, providing a purified and conformationally stable receptor, and PeptiDream’s proprietary Peptide Discovery Platform System (PDPS) has allowed for rapid identification of high affinity and selective peptide antagonists against Protease activated receptor 2 (PAR2). The peptides are undergoing further characterization and optimization, with the intention of advancing the most promising leads towards clinical development.
PAR2 is a well-validated GPCR target for multiple indications in pain, cancer and inflammatory diseases. In previous attempts, using conventional drug discovery approaches, this receptor has proved to be an intractable target primarily owing to its activation mechanism. PAR2 is an unusual GPCR that is activated by enzymatic cleavage such that the cleaved part of the receptor acts as a tethered agonist. Because of this unusual mechanism of activation, it has been extremely difficult to identify PAR2 antagonists for development as new medicines.

As per the terms of the agreement, Sosei and PeptiDream jointly conduct and share the costs of the discovery and development program and will co-own any resulting products.

Chief R&D Officer Dr Malcolm Weir commented: “We are extremely pleased that our collaboration with PeptiDream has allowed for identification of candidate peptides displaying promising qualities towards the target. The synergistic nature of the companies’ two drug discovery technologies has worked very well, with the highly stable and purified PAR2 StaR® provided by Sosei allowing PeptiDream’s PDPS to quickly identify novel, high affinity and pharmacologically active peptides in under two months. We look forward to continuing this productive collaboration and progressing the development of the novel peptides discovered.”

President and CEO Dr Patrick Reid commented: “We are excited with the rapid progress of the discovery program and it is a testament to the power of Sosei’s StaR® technology, that allowed our PDPS technology to rapidly identify promising candidates against this difficult target, that exhibited the desired cell activity.  We look forward to continuing to support the development of these candidates toward the clinic.”