Sosei Acquires Heptares Therapeutics for $180 Million

Japan’s Sosei have announced today that they have acquired Heptares Therapeutics, a UK based biotechnology company, in a deal that could be worth up to $400 million.

Heptares Therapeutics specialises in creating medicines targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).  Sosei have agreed to pay $180 million of that upfront to gain access to Heptares’ GPCRs, a group of 375 receptors which are linked to a wide range of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, ADHD, diabetes, schizophrenia and migraines.

Heptares also have a number of partnerships in place for their StaR technology platform, including partnerships with AstraZeneca, Novartis, Merck & Co-owned Cubist, MorphoSys and Takeda.

Heptares was founded in 2007, and is currently working on a Phase Ib clinical trial of their muscarinic M1 receptor agonist for cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.

Sosei have confirmed that Heptares will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Group, with their existing R&D operations continuing in the UK.

Shinichi Tamura, Sosei’s chief executive, labelled it as “an historic day” for the organisation, claiming that Heptares is “based on truly world-class science and its drug discovery and development capabilities will contribute to a sustainable stream of new products for the group.”  Tamura added that by keeping Heptares as an independent subsidiary structure, they will “ensure Heptares is able to maintain the culture and business model that has been the foundation of its success so far.”

Heptares’ CEO, Malcolm Weir, noted that the deal represents “a great example of the translation of ground-breaking UK academic science into economic and potential therapeutic value”.  Weir also added that the acquisition “secures significant investment into our technology platform and clinical pipeline well into the future.”

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