Sosei Heptares will receive $3.75m from Genentech after it reaches a discovery-based milestone.

Genentech, a member of the Roche group, and Sosei Heptares entered a multi-target research collaboration and licence agreement in 2019.

As per the deal, Sosei Heptares is tasked with developing new small molecules and biologics that modulate G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets identified by Genentech.

Sosei Heptares stated the $3.75m payment related to the progression of a “potential first-in-class project targeting an undisclosed GPCR”. Genentech will now take over the development of the project and be responsible for commercialisation, based on a 31 October press release.

As per the 2019 deal, the total for milestone payments – which cover research, development, and commercialisation – could exceed $1bn. At the time of the deal, Sosei Heptares received $26m in upfront and near-term payments. The company is also eligible to receive royalty payments on future sales of medicines borne from the partnership.

Genentech has exclusive global rights to candidates developed from the partnership. The deal combined Sosei Heptares’ GPCR-focused drug design capabilities with Genentech’s discovery, development and therapeutic area expertise.

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Genentech is not the only company that has recently collaborated with Sosei Heptares. In August 2022, AbbVie signed a drug discovery partnership and option-to-license agreement with Sosei Heptares in a deal potentially worth $1.2bn. Eli Lilly joined suit, signing with the pharma company in a $730m deal in December 2022.

Pfizer and GSK are also on the company’s books, with deals spanning back to 2015 and 2020 respectively.

Heptares Therapeutics president and Sosei Heptares UK R&D head Dr Matt Barnes said in a statement: “We are extremely pleased to see the progression of this novel first-in-class project. The insight and expertise from both companies from target selection and drug discovery is a truly exciting combination and further demonstrates the productivity of our structure-based drug design platform.”

This content was updated on 25 January 2024