Press release
Dec 23, 2019

Sosei Heptares announces the first Phase I clinical start from its multi-target drug discovery collaboration with Pfizer

Tokyo, Japan and London, UK, 23 December 2019 – Sosei Group Corporation (“the Company”; TSE: 4565) has been notified by its strategic alliance partner Pfizer that it has dosed the first subject in a clinical trial with a new drug candidate nominated from the multi-target drug discovery collaboration between the two companies. Achievement of this milestone triggers a payment of $5 million to Sosei Heptares. This candidate was nominated for advancement by Pfizer in May 2019 generating at that time a $3 million milestone payment.  


Dr. Malcolm Weir, Executive Vice President, Research & Early Development at Sosei Heptares, said: “The productivity of our collaboration with Pfizer has been gathering real momentum in 2019 based on the synergy of the expert teams within both organizations. We are excited with this latest milestone, which sees the first candidate from this collaboration enter clinical trials. This excellent progress is also reflected more broadly across our other internal and partnered programs where it demonstrates the power of our approach to deliver molecules targeting challenging GPCRs across multiple disease areas to partners.”


Charlotte Allerton, Head of Medicine Design at Pfizer said: "We are pleased with the progress achieved through our collaboration with Sosei Heptares. Sosei Heptares’ GPCR-focused structure-based drug design provides us with a valuable approach to potentially enable the design of small molecules that may modulate important disease targets."


About the agreement with Pfizer

Sosei Heptares and Pfizer entered a multi-target drug discovery collaboration in November 2015 to research and develop potential new medicines directed at up to ten GPCR targets across multiple therapeutic areas. Many of these targets have clinical or biological validation as key points for therapeutic intervention potentially targeting a range of diseases but have proven difficult to address with conventional discovery approaches because of inherent technical challenges.


To address these challenges, Sosei Heptares and Pfizer scientists are working closely together to leverage their respective complementary expertise in enabling GPCR-focused structure-based drug design (SBDD) and development initially directed to the GPCR targets selected by Pfizer. Pfizer will be responsible for developing and commercialising any potential therapeutic agents (small molecules or biologics) for each target and will have exclusive global rights to any potential resulting agents.


Sosei Heptares has delivered multiple stabilized receptors (StaR® proteins), X-ray structures and biophysical data on certain programs, triggering milestone payments from Pfizer, including the US$5 million announced today, as well as $3 million each in May and June 2019, resulting from the nomination of new clinical candidates and entry into a first clinical trial. Further possible milestones payments are contemplated under the agreement, with potential for royalties also payable provided the criteria under the agreement are satisfied.


Pfizer also made a US$33 million equity investment in Sosei Heptares in 2015. In the future, Pfizer and Sosei Heptares anticipate publication of select research findings from their collaboration.


–        ENDS –