Japanese firm Sosei Group has acquired UK-based biotechnology company Heptares Therapeutics, in a deal valued at $400m.
As part of the deal, Sosei has purchased 100% of Heptares’ share capital for $180m in cash and up to $220m contingent upon the successful progression of the firm’s pipeline and platform.
Through its clinical and preclinical pipeline of potentially transformative new medicines targeting serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD, metabolic disease, schizophrenia, migraine, Heptares will support Sosei’s vision of becoming a crucial global biopharmaceutical firm.
Sosei Group chairman and CEO Shinichi Tamura said: "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."
In 2007, Heptares was established based on the work of its founding scientists Richard Henderson and Christopher Tate at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.
With investment from MVM Life Science Partners, it was led by co-founders Malcolm Weir and Fiona Marshall.
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Heptares developed the StaR technology platform, with the support of additional funds from MVM, Clarus Ventures, Novartis Venture Fund, Takeda Ventures and the Stanley Family Foundation.
The platform allows to design drugs precisely based on a detailed understanding of the structure of the drug target, an approach known as structure-based drug design (SBDD).
Sosei noted that it is exploring strategic opportunities that can both build on and go beyond the secured revenue stream in milestones and royalties derived from the two COPD products, Ultibro Breezhaler and Seebri Breezhaler, marketed by its partner Novartis.
Heptares has leveraged the capability of StaR technology to sign partnership agreements with pharmaceutical and biologics firms such as AstraZeneca, Takeda Pharmaceutical, MorphoSys, MedImmune and Novartis.