Heptares Therapeutics from the UK has landed Pfizer in a huge potential $1.9Bn deal for their G-protein receptor platform.
Heptares Therapeutics was founded by Fiona Marshall (one of our Top 10 UK Women in Biotech), who now serves as a CSO to Japanese Big boss Sosei, which wholly acquired Heptares earlier this year in a €373M deal. Other partners includes Takeda, AstraZeneca, Cubist Pharma (US), MorphoSys and MedImmune.
As discussed before on Heptares’ partnership with US-Israeli Giant Teva, is that what makes Heptares such an attractive partner is their GPCR platform, which has an extensive number of applications and targets available. Heptares own research has given rise to a variety of neurological research indications for their engineered G-protein coupled receptors (a superfamily of 375 receptors), to include Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, ADHD and Migraine.
Heptares StaR (stabilised receptor) technology forms the backbone of its integrated platform for targeting GPCRs. A StaR protein is a GPCR with a small number of point mutations that greatly improve its thermostability without disrupting its pharmacology. Pfizer will therefore license 10 of their GPCR targets (small molecules and biologicals) for development in multiple therapeutic areas.
Malcolm Weir, Chief Executive Officer of Heptares and Chief R&D Officer of Sosei Group, explained:
This strategic collaboration with Pfizer (spanning many targets and indications) is another significant achievement for Heptares. It recognises the potential clinical benefits through the combination of our continuing leadership GPCR structure-based design technology and Pfizer’s global therapeutic drug discovery and development capabilities.”
Heptares is eligible to receive potential research, development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to €178.7M per target. In addition, Heptares is eligible to receive potential tiered royalties on the net sales of any products that are commercialised by Pfizer.
Clearly Heptares could be the next Ablynx in terms of Pharma popularity, showing off multiple partnerships across the Biotech and Pharmaceutical field.