Tokyo, Japan, and Cambridge, UK, 2 September 2022 – Sosei Group Corporation (“the Company”; TSE: 4565), an international biopharmaceutical company and world-leader in GPCR-focused structure-based drug design (SBDD) and development, is pleased to announce it has won Licensing Deal of the Year and Executive of the Year at the first Informa Pharma Intelligence Awards Japan held yesterday in Tokyo.
The Informa Pharma Intelligence Awards Japan, the Japanese rendition of the prestigious global Scrip Awards which have been running for 17 years, recognize outstanding advancements and innovations in Japanese pharma and biotech, highlighting Japan’s integral role in the global healthcare market. The categories were judged by a panel of industry experts within academia and business, from around Japan.
Licensing Deal of the Year recognizes deals that were closed during 2021, and the judges looked at all aspects from monetary and strategic value to the benefits they give to both sides.
Sosei Heptares’ winning deal was for its potentially multi-billion dollar strategic collaboration and licensing agreement with Neurocrine Biosciences to develop novel muscarinic receptor agonists for the treatment of schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders, signed in November 2021. Muscarinic receptors are GPCRs found in multiple tissues including the brain, cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal tract. Selective activation of M4 and M1 receptors in the brain is a clinically validated approach to treating cognitive and neuropsychological symptoms for a variety of neurological diseases.
Under the deal, Neurocrine gains development and commercialization rights to a broad portfolio of novel, clinical and preclinical muscarinic M4, M1 and dual M1/M4 receptor agonists discovered by Sosei Heptares. Neurocrine plans to initiate a Phase 2 trial this year with NBI-1117568 (formerly HTL-0016878), an oral, selective muscarinic M4 receptor agonist, as a potential new treatment for schizophrenia.
Sosei Heptares is eligible to receive R&D funding plus development, regulatory and commercial milestones of up to US$2.6 billion, as well as retaining the rights to develop M1 agonists in Japan in all indications.
Executive of the Year, awarded to Chris Cargill, President and CEO of Sosei Heptares (CFO at the time of nomination), acknowledges his excellence in leadership throughout 2021, where his efforts have been instrumental in enabling the Company to progress and achieve significant development and partnering milestones. Furthermore, Mr. Cargill has been a strong force in driving Sosei Heptares’ growth strategies and evolution, which also saw him promoted to President and CEO in 2022.
Chris Cargill, President and CEO of Sosei Heptares, commented: “We are honored to receive such prestigious awards at this first-ever Japan-focused event. I would like to thank everyone at Sosei Heptares for their continued dedication and tireless efforts as we strive to accelerate the development of new medicines for patients through application of our world-leading drug discovery and translational medicine capabilities, while at the same time making further contributions to patients in Japan.”