Heptares Enters A New Research And Drug Discovery Collaboration Under Its 'Orbit' Initiative With Juntendo University

New programme focused on GPCR target implicated in wound healing

LONDON and TOKYO, September 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

Heptares Therapeutics ("Heptares"), the wholly-owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation (TSE Mothers Index: 4565), announces the launch of a new research collaboration under its ORBIT initiative with Juntendo University in Tokyo, Japan.

The new collaboration, Heptares' fourth ORBIT programme, is with the research group of Professor Takehiko Yokomizo, an expert on Molecular Biology, Immunology and Cell Biology and Professor of Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at Juntendo University. The collaboration is the first international industrial partnership for this prestigious university. Research activities will focus on the bespoke design and profiling of novel leukotriene receptor modulators with potential therapeutic utility in intractable skin/intestinal ulcers.

Fiona Marshall, Chief Scientific Officer of Heptares, said: "We are delighted to collaborate with Professor Yokomizo and his group at Juntendo University. Their extensive experience and knowledge of leukotriene receptors, combined with our own structure-based design expertise, forms a strong basis from which to generate novel selective, small molecules with the potential to address difficult-to-treat wounds. We look forward to a productive relationship."

Prof. Yokomizo, Juntendo University, added: "Heptares has a strong global reputation based on its GPCR drug design capabilities. We are excited to collaborate on this new project, which has the potential to significantly advance our knowledge of the links between leukotriene receptor and disease, and to progress new drug design strategies in this area."

Further information about ORBIT 

ORBIT (Opportunities in Receptor Biology for Industrial Translation) is a collaborative research initiative launched by Heptares in February 2016 and designed to promote and broaden the application of its proprietary structure-based drug design expertise directed at GPCRs to create transformative medicines. Heptares is committing up to GBP 5 million over the next three years to fund this new initiative.

ORBIT will see Heptares collaborate with leading academic groups and emerging biotechnology companies. ORBIT aims to leverage the expertise of collaborators to seek out new links between GPCRs and diseases and develop a better understanding of disease biology relating to a broad range of GPCR targets. In parallel, Heptares will apply its world-leading GPCR-targeted drug discovery and translational medicine capabilities to generate a new wave of novel small molecules and biologics for advancement through its development pipeline.

Since its launch in February 2016, Heptares has initiated four ORBIT programmes focused on novel GPCR targets across multiple disease areas: with Imperial College London's National Heart and Lung Institute (immune disorders), the University of Cambridge (cardiovascular diseases), New York University School of Medicine (glioblastoma multiforme) and Juntendo University (intractable skin/intestinal ulcers).

For more information on ORBIT, please contact orbit@heptares.com

About Heptares Therapeutics 

Heptares is a clinical-stage company creating transformative medicines targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a superfamily of 375 receptors linked to a wide range of human diseases. Heptares' proprietary StaR® technology and structure-based drug design (SBDD) capabilities enable us to engineer and develop drugs for highly validated, yet historically undruggable or challenging GPCRs. Using this approach, we are building an exciting pipeline of new medicines (small molecules and biologics) with the potential to transform the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, cancer immune-oncology, migraine, addiction, metabolic disease and other indications. We have partnerships for our novel candidates and technologies with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Allergan, AstraZeneca, Daiichi Sankyo, Kymab, MorphoSys, PeptiDream, Pfizer and Teva.

Heptares is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation. For more information, please visit www.heptares.com and www.sosei.com.

HEPTARES is a registered trademark in the EU, Switzerland, US and Japan;  

StaR® is a registered trademark in the EU and Japan.

About Sosei 

Sosei is a biopharmaceutical company originating from Japan but with global presence. Sosei's primary business model is based on identifying novel and/or differentiated product assets or technology platforms and, through supporting these in preclinical and clinical development and establishing commercial partnerships, advancing new medicines to patients worldwide. For more information about Sosei, please visit www.sosei.com .

About Juntendo University Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 

Juntendo was founded in 1838 and has a history of nearly 180 years. Juntendo Hospital was established in 1873 as the oldest private hospital in Japan. The Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry belongs to the Graduate School of Medicine and is led by Professor Yokomizo, who is a world-famous GPCR researcher.

Contact Information

For Heptares Therapeutics
Mark Swallow, Pip Batty, David Dible (Citigate Dewe Rogerson)
Malcolm Weir, Chief Executive Officer

For Juntendo University
Takehiko Yokomizo, MD, PhD
Professor of Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Juntendo University

SOURCE Heptares Therapeutics

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