Drugging the Undruggable: New Acquisition to Boost GPCR Drugs

30/11/2016 - 2 minutes

Heptares Therapeutics has acquired G7 Therapeutics to take control over its GPCR technology, boost its pipeline and keep competitors in this profitable field at bay.

Heptares Therapeutics develops therapies directed to G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a large family of hot but elusive targets for biopharma. The British company, owned by the Japanese Sosei, just announced it is acquiring G7 Therapeutics for €11M (CHF12M), which will become Heptares Zurich.

With this move, Heptares gets hold of G7’s technology platforms to rapidly generate stable GPCRs. These valuable molecules are the target of up to 30% of approved drugs and can hold the key to treating many diseases, ranging from Alzheimer’s to cancer. However, their conformational flexibility in solution is a huge challenge that leads most candidates to fail.

Heptares’ StaR technology addresses these problems by introducing mutations in GPCRs to stabilize the molecule without disrupting their biological activity. Now, the company incorporates G7’s SaBRE and CHESS platforms, which employ molecular evolution techniques to obtain a wide variety of GPCR variants that can be easily expressed in bacteria or yeast.

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