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25 June, 2020 - 08:11 By Tony Quested

$409m bonanza deal – at least – for Sosei Heptares

Sosei Heptares, the Japanese life science business with major research operations in Cambridge, has set up a potential $409 million exclusive discovery collaboration deal with New York-quoted AbbVie – and there could be more cash cream to pour on top.

Sosei Heptares is eligible to receive up to $32 million in upfront and near-term milestone payments as well as potential option, development and commercial milestones of up to $377m –plus tiered royalties on global commercial sales.

The agreement with AbbVie – a research-based global biopharmaceutical company – is designed to discover, develop and commercialise novel medicines that modulate G protein-coupled receptor targets of interest to the American business.

The collaboration will initially focus on discovery of novel small molecules targeting inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. 

Dr Malcolm Weir, executive vice-chairman of Sosei Heptares, said: “We are delighted to begin this new partnership with AbbVie, which further extends the application of our technology to novel and exciting targets, and we look forward building a close working relationship as the programs advance. 

“Collaborating with leading pharmaceutical companies is a core element of our successful value-generating strategy. The ability to combine our unique technology and structure-based discovery and early development 

capabilities, particularly around challenging drug targets, with AbbVie’s extensive therapeutic area, development and global commercialisation expertise is a powerful approach to creating new improved therapeutics for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.”

Sosei Heptares will apply its proprietary StaR® technology and GPCR-focused Structure-based Drug Design (SBDD) capabilities and fund R & D activities through the completion of Investigational New Drug (IND)-enabling studies. AbbVie may then pay license fees to exercise its exclusive licence options and assume responsibility for global development and commercialisation.

AbbVie has the option to expand the collaboration up to a total of four targets.

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