Sosei Heptares secures second $3m milestone payment in collaboration with Pfizer
Sosei Heptares, which has a research and development site at Granta Park, is to receive a further $3million milestone payment from Pfizer as it was confirmed that a drug candidate will advance to clinical development.
It comes just weeks after the first clinical candidate in the companies’ multi-target drug discovery collaboration was nominated by Pfizer, which also triggered a $3m payment.
Under the partnership, agreed in November 2015, the companies are researching and developing potential new medicines directed at up to 10 G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) - membrane receptors that take in information about light, sugars, proteins and more to convey to cells.
Dr Malcolm Weir, executive VP and chief R&D officer of Sosei Heptares, said: “We are very pleased to reach this development milestone for another candidate in our partnership with Pfizer so soon after nominating the first clinical candidate last month.
“The teams at Sosei Heptares and Pfizer have worked well together to generate and advance a novel molecule against a difficult GPCR target, highlighting again the power and potential of this approach and the combined capabilities being deployed.”
The targets involved in the collaboration are known to be key to targeting a range of diseases but have traditionally proved difficult to address.
Sosei Heptares and Pfizer scientists are working together on GPCR-focused structure-based drug design (SBDD) and development and anticipate publishing some of their research findings in future.
The Granta Park firm, which is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, has delivered multiple stabilised receptors, known as StaR proteins, X-ray structures and biophysical data on certain programs.
Pfizer will develop and commercialise any potential therapeutic agents - small molecules or biologics - with exclusive global rights.
Further milestone payments to Sosei Heptares are possible, and potential royalties.
Pfizer made a $33million equity investment in Sosei Heptares in 2015.