Sosei Heptares spin-off company Orexia Therapeutics merged into newly created Centessa Pharmaceuticals

  • Centessa combines 10 privately held biotech companies with highly validated programs led by industry leading teams
  • Centessa, founded by specialist life science VC firm Medicxi, has raised $250 million in Series A financing
  • Sosei Heptares' shareholding in Orexia converted into shareholding in Centessa

TOKYO and CAMBRIDGE, England, Feb. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Sosei Group Corporation ("the Company") (TSE: 4565) notes the announcement today from Centessa Pharmaceuticals ("Centessa") about its launch as a novel asset-centric pharmaceutical company designed and built to advance a portfolio of highly validated programs. In conjunction with its launch, Centessa has completed the merger of 10 private biotech companies ("Centessa Subsidiaries") that will each continue to develop its assets with oversight from the Centessa management team.

Centessa was founded by specialist life science venture capital firm Medicxi and raised $250 million in an oversubscribed Series A financing from a group of blue-chip investors.

Centessa's asset-centric R&D model applied at scale has assembled best-in-class or first-in-class assets, each of which is led by specialized teams committed to accelerate development and reshape the traditional drug development process. With its unique operational framework, Centessa aims to reduce some of the key R&D inefficiencies that classical pharmaceutical companies face because of structural constraints.

Each Centessa Subsidiary team is asset-focused, in that it prosecutes a single program or biological pathway, with leadership provided by subject matter experts who are given a high degree of autonomy to advance each program. With a singular focus on advancing exceptional science, combined with proprietary capabilities, including structure-based drug discovery and design, the subsidiary teams enable Centessa to potentially develop and deliver impactful medicines to patients.

Orexia Therapeutics ("Orexia"), a new entity comprising Orexia Limited and Inexia Limited, which were created in February 2019 by Sosei Heptares and Medicxi, has been merged into Centessa. Orexia is developing oral and intranasal orexin receptor agonists using structure-based drug design approaches. These agonists target the treatment of narcolepsy type 1, where they have the potential to directly address the underlying pathology of orexin neuron loss, as well as other neurological disorders characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness.

Sosei Heptares continues to provide research services to Orexia and its equity holding in Orexia has been converted into a proportional shareholding in Centessa.

The full announcement from Centessa can be found at

Miles Congreve, Chief Scientific Officer of Sosei Heptares, commented: "This is a very exciting development for Orexia and we are delighted that it has been selected to be part of Centessa. We look forward to seeing this novel scaled asset-centric operating model in action and believe it will overcome existing pharma R&D inefficiencies to drive the rapid development of new medicines for patients."

About Sosei Heptares

We are an international biopharmaceutical group focused on the discovery and early development of new medicines originating from our proprietary GPCR-targeted StaR® technology and structure-based drug design platform capabilities. We are advancing a broad and deep pipeline of novel medicines across multiple therapeutic areas, including neurology, immunology, gastroenterology and inflammatory diseases.

We have established partnerships with some of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Biohaven, Genentech (Roche), GSK, Novartis, Pfizer and Takeda and additionally with multiple emerging technology companies. Sosei Heptares is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with corporate and R&D facilities in Cambridge, UK.

"Sosei Heptares" is the corporate brand and trademark of Sosei Group Corporation, which is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (ticker: 4565). Sosei, Heptares, the logo and StaR® are trademarks of Sosei Group companies.

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Sosei Heptares – Media and Investor Relations
Hironoshin Nomura, SVP Investor Relations and Corporate Strategy
+81 (0)3 6679 2178 |

Shinichiro Nishishita, VP Investor Relations, Head of Regulatory Disclosures
+81 (0)3 5210 3399 |

Citigate Dewe Rogerson (for Sosei Heptares)
Yas Fukuda – Japanese Media
+81 (0)3 4360 9234 |

Mark Swallow, David Dible – International Media
+44 (0)20 7638 9571 |

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about the discovery, development and commercialization of products. Various risks may cause Sosei Group Corporation's actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including: adverse results in clinical development programs; failure to obtain patent protection for inventions; commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and commercialize products and services; difficulties or delays in obtaining regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting from development efforts; the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research and development and to expand commercialization activities; and product initiatives by competitors. As a result of these factors, prospective investors are cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statements. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Company Codes: Tokyo:4565

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