Sosei Heptares and AbbVie enter second collaboration targeting neurological diseases

shutterstock neuron neurological

A new drug discovery collaboration has taken place between Japanese Sosei Group Corporation and UK-based Abbvie with the hope of targeting neurological disease.

This is the second partnership between the companies and offers the option to license agreement which is aimed at discovering, developing and commercializing small molecules that modulate novel G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets associated with neurological disease.


The new agreement will leverage Sosei Heptares’ StaR technology and structure-based drug design (SBDD) platform and AbbVie’s neuroscience and disease area expertise.

The agreement builds on the existing collaboration between Sosei Heptares and AbbVie, expanding the first multi-target discovery agreement signed between the companies in June 2020, which is focused on the inflammatory and autoimmune disease areas.


Matt Barnes, head of UK research and development, at Sosei Heptares, said: “We are delighted to enter this new multi-target discovery collaboration with AbbVie in the neuroscience area, a therapeutic area in which we share deep and complementary experience and expertise.

“We have established a highly productive working relationship with our counterparts at AbbVie over the past two years through our initial collaboration and are very pleased with how this is progressing. We believe this strong foundation will enable us to get off to a quick start as we tackle the novel and challenging neurology targets under this new agreement.”

Under the terms of the new agreement, Sosei Heptares will conduct and fund research and development activities through the completion of investigational new drug (IND)-enabling studies.

Commercial development

AbbVie has the exclusive option to license up to three programs at this stage and will have responsibility for clinical, regulatory and commercial development thereafter.

Sosei Heptares receives an upfront payment of $40 million on signing and is eligible to receive up to $40 million in near-term research milestone payments expected over the next three years, as well as further potential option, development and commercial milestones totaling up to $1.2 billion, plus tiered royalties on global sales.

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