Press release
Jun 25, 2020

Sosei Heptares and AbbVie Announce New Discovery Collaboration Targeting Inflammatory Diseases

  • Collaboration leverages unique StaR® technology and SBDD platform for discovering novel medicines that modulate GPCRs
  • Primary focus on novel small molecules targeting inflammatory and autoimmune diseases


Tokyo, Japan and London, UK, 25 June 2020 – Sosei Group Corporation (“the Company”; TSE: 4565) announces that it has entered into an exclusive discovery collaboration and option to license agreement with AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, to discover, develop and commercialize novel medicines that modulate G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets of interest to AbbVie. The collaboration will initially focus on discovery of novel small molecules targeting inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Dr. Malcolm Weir, Executive Vice Chairman of Sosei Heptares, said: “We are delighted to begin this new partnership with AbbVie, which further extends the application of our technology to novel and exciting targets, and we look forward building a close working relationship as the programs advance. Collaborating with leading pharmaceutical companies is a core element of our successful value-generating strategy. The ability to combine our unique technology and structure-based discovery and early development capabilities, particularly around challenging drug targets, with AbbVie’s extensive therapeutic area, development and global commercialization expertise is a powerful approach to creating new improved therapeutics for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.”

Dr. Lisa Olson, Vice President, Discover Immunology, AbbVie, said: “Continued innovation across Immunology remains a key AbbVie priority. Combining AbbVie’s more than two decades of expertise in Immunology with researchers developing cutting-edge technologies best positions us to offer patients new hope for advanced, next-generation treatment for autoimmune diseases.”

Sosei Heptares will apply its proprietary StaR® technology and GPCR-focused Structure-based Drug Design (SBDD) capabilities and fund R&D activities through the completion of Investigational New Drug (IND)-enabling studies. AbbVie may then pay license fees to exercise its exclusive license options and assume responsibility for global development and commercialization.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sosei Heptares is eligible to receive up to US$32 million in upfront and near-term milestone payments, as well as potential option, development and commercial milestones of up to $377 million, plus tiered royalties on global commercial sales.

 AbbVie has the option to expand the collaboration up to a total of four targets.


– ENDS –