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9 October, 2019 - 10:44 By Tony Quested

Early $3m boost from Genentech for Sosei Heptares

Sosei Heptares in Cambridge has begun to cash in on an alliance with Californian life sciences technology giant Genentech that could realise well over $1 billion in the long haul.

The South San Francisco business wants to nominate a new G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) disease target and this has triggered a $3 million payment to the Granta Park firm.

It is effectively an advance from the $26m in upfront and near-term payments noted by Sosei Heptares in its announcement on the signing of the collaboration and licence agreement with the Roche group company.

Sosei Heptares is also eligible to receive future milestone payments from Genentech that may exceed $1bn for achieving pre-specified research, development and commercialisation events. 

The Cambridge company is also eligible to receive royalty payments on the net sales of potential future medicines resulting from the collaboration.

The companies only revealed their collaboration and licence agreement in July so the $3m trigger is a welcome boost.

The partners have agreed to combine the proprietary GPCR-focused structure-based drug design capabilities at Sosei Heptares with Genentech’s discovery, development and therapeutic area expertise directed towards multiple GPCR targets nominated by Genentech.

The nominated targets represent promising new therapeutic intervention points across a range of diseases. Genentech will be responsible for developing and commercialising potential new medicines for each novel target and will have exclusive global rights to these agents.

Dr Malcolm Weir, executive vice-president and chief R & D Officer of Sosei Heptares, said: “We are delighted that our collaboration with Genentech has rapidly nominated an additional GPCR disease target. 

“This is a great example of how we can leverage our world leading GPCR expertise to quickly develop productive working relationships with our partners to deliver on key project milestones.

“We look forward to advancing this important collaboration as we capitalise on our complementary expertise to generate potential new drug candidates to GPCR disease targets.”

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