Heptares Therapeutics is licensing its portfolio of novel candidates for neurological diseases, including one for Alzheimer’s, to Allergan for up to €3Bn. A good way for Allergan to ‘get over’ yesterday’s failed Pfizer acquisition.
Based in Cambridge, UK, Heptares Therapeutics is creating new therapies with their StaR platform, that allows it to target G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a superfamily of 375 receptors linked to many diseases. The platform is used to mutate the proteins to make them stable without changing their drug-binding behavior. The company then screen for small molecules and biologics that bind them to obtain therapeutic candidates.
The small molecules and biologicals identified by the StaR platform have proven to be quite popular with pharma. First, there was a €350M acquisition by Japanese Sosei. Since then, Heptares has struck some impressive collaborations; It’s developing immuno-oncology candidates with AstraZeneca, therapies to cure migraines with Teva, on top of a billion euro deal with Pfizer.
Now, it’s the turn of the Irish Allergan.