Press release
Jan 14, 2020

Sosei Heptares: significant progress by Orexia and Inexia with orexin agonist program triggers next tranche of funding from Medicxi

  • Orexin program targeting neurological diseases being developed through spin-off companies Orexia and Inexia and financed with €40 million investment from Medicxi
  • Orexia and Inexia have assembled a unique orexin modulator drug discovery and design engine leveraging a stable orexin receptor (StaR®) in an agonist conformation
  • Application of Sosei Heptares unique structure-based drug design (SBDD) approach has delivered key insights for drug discovery and novel active molecules 


Tokyo, Japan and London, UK, 14 January 2020 – Sosei Group Corporation (“the Company”; TSE: 4565) announces that significant scientific progress at its spin-off companies Orexia Limited (“Orexia”) and Inexia Limited (“Inexia”) has triggered the next tranche of funding from venture capital firm Medicxi under its €40 million commitment.

Sosei Heptares and Medicxi, which specializes in financing asset-centric companies, created Orexia and Inexia in 2019 to develop novel therapies based on positive modulators of the G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) Orexin OX1 and OX2 for neurological diseases, including narcolepsy.

Mario Alberto Accardi Ph.D., CEO of Orexia and Inexia, commented: “We have assembled a unique orexin modulator drug discovery and design engine at Orexia and Inexia, based around Sosei Heptares’ SBDD and GPCR technology. Our stable orexin receptor (StaR®) in an agonist conformation is allowing us to gain detailed structural insights and employ unprecedented drug discovery approaches, enabling the creation of highly selective and potent molecules with potential for oral and intranasal delivery. This significant and exciting progress has triggered the investment of further committed funds from Medicxi that will be deployed to rapidly advance these highly promising molecules towards the clinic.”

Dr. Malcolm Weir, Executive Vice President, Research & Early Development at Sosei Heptares, added: “We are very pleased with the progress being made in the orexin agonist program in collaboration with Orexia and Inexia and with support and funding from Medicxi. The fact that the program is already generating interesting new molecules, with a range of pharmacological profiles suitable for different neurological indications and methods of delivery, augurs well for the future success of both Orexia and Inexia.”


About Orexia and Inexia

Orexia and Inexia are focused on developing Orexin OX1 and OX2 positive modulators and products derived therefrom, including dual OX1/OX2 agonists, targeting neurological diseases including narcolepsy. Orexia will focus on the development of oral therapies, while Inexia will focus on the development of candidates for intranasal delivery using the Optinose Exhalation Delivery System.

The orexin system is a key regulator of behavioural arousal, wakefulness and sleep. The loss of the orexin neurons causes narcolepsy and has been linked to multiple neurological conditions. Despite orexin neurodegeneration, orexin receptors on target cells remain intact and functional, providing an opportunity for therapeutic intervention.

Orexia and Inexia were created in 2019 through a structured financing agreement between Sosei Heptares and Medicxi, which has committed up to €40 million to invest in both companies.

Both companies gain exclusive access to relevant intellectual property, know-how and development capabilities from Sosei Heptares, including access to the StaR® platform and associated SBDD expertise. Sosei Heptares retains an equity holding in both companies and will receive R&D payments as well as further payments on the achievement of pre-defined development milestones.

For more information on Orexia and Inexia, please visit and


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