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15 January, 2020 - 20:21 By Tony Quested

Sosei companies secure Medicxi funding to advance molecule discoveries

Japanese-owned Sosei Group Corporation says significant scientific progress at its spin-off companies Orexia and Inexia has triggered the next tranche of funding from venture capital firm Medicxi under a €40 million commitment.

Sosei Heptares and Medicxi, which specialises in financing asset-centric companies, have extensive Cambridge links; they created Orexia and Inexia in 2019 to develop novel therapies based on positive modulators of the G protein-coupled receptors Orexin OX1 and OX2 for neurological diseases, including narcolepsy.

Mario Alberto Accardi, CEO of Orexia and Inexia, said: “We have assembled a unique orexin modulator drug discovery and design engine at Orexia and Inexia, based around Sosei Heptares’ SBDD and GPCR technology.

“Our stable orexin receptor (StaR®) in an agonist conformation is allowing us to gain detailed structural insights and employ unprecedented drug discovery approaches, enabling the creation of highly selective and potent molecules with potential for oral and intranasal delivery.

“This significant and exciting progress has triggered the investment of further committed funds from Medicxi that will be deployed to rapidly advance these highly promising molecules towards the clinic.”

Dr Malcolm Weir, executive VP, Research & Early Development at Sosei Heptares, added: “We are very pleased with the progress being made in the orexin agonist program in collaboration with Orexia and Inexia and with support and funding from Medicxi.

“The fact that the program is already generating interesting new molecules, with a range of pharmacological profiles suitable for different neurological indications and methods of delivery, augurs well for the future success of both Orexia and Inexia.”

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