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26 May, 2022 - 16:22 By Tony Quested

Sosei Heptares takes Cancer Research UK’s Granta Park building

Japanese-owned Cambridge life science company Sosei Heptares today expanded its UK R & D operations into a second site within Granta Park – to The Cori Building, previously occupied by Cancer Research UK.

Parent company Sosei Group Corporation is a world leader in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) focused structure-based drug design (SBDD) and development.

Sosei told Business Weekly that the requirement for additional R & D space was being driven by the company’s strategy to become a multi-program, early clinical stage business while continuing to be a discovery and development partner-of-choice for leading biopharmaceutical companies. 

As part of this strategy, Sosei Heptares is continuing to invest in enhancing its proprietary GPCR-focused discovery platform and expanding its R & D capacity to support the advancement of its in-house pipeline and partnered programs. 

The existing facility, The Steinmetz Building, will soon undergo remodelling to convert it exclusively to laboratory space.

The new facilities in The Cori Building will become home to Sosei Heptares’ expanded Translational Medicine team. This team is focused on taking a venture-like approach to the abundance of new discovery candidates generated by the company’s discovery platform. 

The goal is to accelerate the prioritisation and rapid progression of programs through Phase 1b/2a trials to establish clinical proof-of-concept; a key value inflection point to support future development and partnering opportunities.

Chris Cargill, President and CEO of Sosei Heptares, said: “This expansion of our R & D capacity reflects the significant growth and development the company has experienced in recent years, based on the excellent work we are doing with partners and collaborators. 

“We now employ close to 200 expert R & D team members in Cambridge, which was just 130 when we first moved to Granta Park in 2018. Being established as a leading biopharmaceutical company in the Cambridge area has benefitted us greatly, allowing us to draw from the rich pool of R & D talent in the area. 

“We are excited about the future for the company and are equipped and motivated to capitalise on the huge potential of our GPCR-focused platform to deliver much-needed medicines to patients as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Sosei Heptares has invested c.$20m (£16m) in developing state of the art R & D facilities in Granta Park in recent years.

New hires are nailed on as the space gives the company flexibility to add capacity as required – and it is already involved in a number of partnerships with global players.

A spokesperson said that the company remains committed to investing in the UK and the Cambridge area specifically, which they see as one of the world's leading biotech innovation hubs.

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