London, UK and Boston, MA, USA, 30 November 2015 – Heptares Therapeutics (“Heptares”), the clinical-stage GPCR structure-guided drug discovery and development company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation (“Sosei”; TSE Mothers Index: 4565), announces that it has entered into a strategic drug discovery collaboration with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) to research and develop potential new medicines directed at up to 10 G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets across multiple therapeutic areas.
Heptares will use its proprietary GPCR structure-guided platform to help deliver stabilised GPCRs (StaR® proteins), high-resolution crystal structures and other technologies to support the discovery of potential novel agents directed to the GPCR targets selected by Pfizer. Pfizer will be responsible for developing and commercialising any potential therapeutic agents (small molecules or biologics derived from StaR antigens) for each target and will have exclusive global rights to any potential resulting agents.
Heptares will receive an initial payment on signing the agreement in return for delivering certain StaR proteins and structures for targets selected by Pfizer that it has already generated.
Heptares is eligible to receive potential research, development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to USD189 million per target. In addition, Heptares is eligible to receive potential tiered royalties on the net sales of any products that are commercialised by Pfizer.
In addition, Sosei and Pfizer Seiyaku KK (“Pfizer KK”) have entered into an equity agreement under which Pfizer KK will purchase USD33 million of newly issued Sosei common stock at a premium of 25% to the average closing price during the 20-day period prior to the closing date. The closing is expected to be in December 2015. The investment will represent approximately 3.02% of the enlarged Sosei share capital and is subject to review by Japanese financial authorities.
“This extensive partnership with Pfizer is an important step toward realizing full potential of Heptares’ technology. Alliances of this kind also play an important role in achieving Sosei’s ambition for becoming a leading global biopharmaceutical company of Japanese origin,” commented Shinichi Tamura, CEO of Sosei Group.
Commenting on the agreement, Malcolm Weir, Chief Executive Officer of Heptares and Chief R&D Officer of Sosei Group, said: “This strategic collaboration with Pfizer, spanning as it does many targets and indications, is another significant achievement for Heptares and recognises the potential clinical benefit that may be realisable through the combination of our continuing leadership in GPCR structure-based design technology and Pfizer’s global therapeutic drug discovery and development capabilities. We are delighted to be embarking on this new collaboration and look forward to an exciting and productive relationship.”
“Pfizer looks forward to this collaboration with Heptares to help us more quickly screen and identify lead GPCR programs across multiple therapeutic areas within our preclinical portfolio and, ultimately, help us increase the speed at which we bring potential new therapies to patients,” said Rod MacKenzie, senior vice president, PharmaTherapeutics Research & Development at Pfizer.