Heptares Enters a New Research And Drug Discovery Collaboration Under Its "Orbit" Initiative With New York University School Of Medicine

LONDON and NEW YORK, June 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

New programme focused on key GPCR target implicated in aggressive brain cancer

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 New York University (NYU) School of Medicine.

This new collaboration will support a multi-year programme with NYU's drug discovery accelerator group, the Office of Therapeutics Alliances (OTA) and the lab of Assistant Professor Dimitris Placantonakis, an expert on the pathology and treatment of brain tumours, at the Neurosurgical Laboratory for Stem Cell Research, in the Department of Neurosurgery at the NYU School of Medicine. Research activities will focus on the discovery of novel molecules that selectively modulate a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) implicated in the formation and progression of glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain cancer.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Heptares and NYU will jointly fund the initial discovery phase of the programme. Heptares has an exclusive option to license intellectual property relevant to the target, and to take any promising compounds further through development and potentially to commercialisation. NYU is eligible to receive milestone payments on any compounds that advance from the discovery phase and royalty payments on sales of any products that reach the market.

Assistant Prof. Placantonakis commented: "Our understanding of the role of this GPCR target in glioblastoma has advanced significantly in recent years. We are excited to begin translating that knowledge with Heptares, through application of its unique structure-based approach, into much needed drug candidates for this highly aggressive and poorly treated cancer."

Nadim Shohdy, Assistant Dean and Director of OTA added: "Our founding principle is that the probability of success is maximized by combining the best academic expertise in identifying, validating and delineating novel disease pathways, with the best industry expertise in translating such findings into viable paths to drug development. Given Heptares' strengths and many successes in drugging novel GPCR targets, we couldn't have asked for a better collaborator."

Fiona Marshall, Chief Scientific Officer of Heptares and Sosei, said: "The philosophy behind our ORBIT programmes is to work with leading experts who are at the forefront of understanding the roles of specific GPCRs in human disease, and to apply our combined expertise and technological capabilities to develop better medicines to treat devastating diseases. This new collaboration with Assistant Prof. Placantonakis and NYU OTA is an excellent example of this philosophy in action and we are excited by the potential it offers to find new therapies for patients with brain tumours."

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 two other programmes under the initiative: with Imperial College London's National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) focused on an orphan receptor that is implicated in a range of immune disorders including asthma and inflammatory bowel disease; and with the University of Cambridge based on the apelin receptor in cardiovascular diseases.

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, MedImmune, MorphoSys, 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 NYU Office of Therapeutics Alliances and Office of Industrial Liaison 

The NYU Office of Therapeutics Alliances (OTA) was created in 2013 to accelerate and de-risk drug discovery projects developed at NYU School of Medicine towards partnerships with investors, biopharma, and non-profits. The NYU Office of Industrial Liaison (OIL) promotes the commercial development of NYU discoveries and actively seeks commercial partners for licensing and research collaborations. Over the past ten years NYU has ranked first among all universities in income from technology licensing. For more information, please visit http://www.nyulmc.org/ota and http://oil.med.nyu.edu/.



SOURCE Heptares Therapeutics

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