Heptares Plans Relocation to Cambridge, UK

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 General News
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LONDON and CAMBRIDGE, England, June 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

Company to create a state-of-art R&D facility on Granta Park to support growth strategy 

Heptares Therapeutics ("Heptares"), the leading GPCR medicine design and development company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Sosei Group

Corporation (TSE Mothers Index: 4565), announces its plans to relocate to a new state-of-the-art facility at Granta Park, Cambridge, UK. The move to new premises follows Heptares' rapid expansion in recent years and is intended to support the Company's plans for progressing to market its own products derived from its G protein-coupled receptor drug discovery and development activities, as well as to continue advancing its broad pipeline of projects partnered with leading pharmaceutical companies.

The 35,000 square foot facility will house all of the company's UK R&D team, with growth of its Zurich operation continuing uninterrupted. Heptares plans to move to the new facility in the second half of 2018, by which time it expects to employ over 130 highly skilled staff drawn from around the world, focused on discovery and clinical development of novel small molecules and biologics derived from its unique GPCR-focused structure-based drug design platform.

Malcolm Weir, Chief Executive Officer of Heptares and Chief R&D Officer of Sosei Group said "In relocating to Granta Park, Heptares is building a world-leading centre for the design and development of novel medicines targeting GPCRs - the most important family of drug targets in the pharmaceutical industry and the source of more than 40% of approved drugs. We have built an exceptional and truly international team in the UK, which has been crucial for our success to date. We anticipate that with enhanced links to the first-class research environment of Cambridge, whilst still maintaining links to the equivalent biomedical centres of excellence in London and Oxford, we can reinforce our world-leading position."

Peter Bains, CEO of Sosei, added: "We are delighted with the very strong progress Heptares has made since it was acquired by Sosei in 2015. At that time, we stated our commitment to establishing Heptares as our core drug discovery and development engine to fuel our organic growth and partnering strategies. We are proud to fulfil this commitment through continued investment in Heptares and in this exciting move to state-of-the-art facilities in Cambridge."

Heptares' new facility will be named The Steinmetz Building as a tribute to Michael Steinmetz, who passed away in 2016. Michael, through US venture capital firm Clarus Ventures, was a crucial early investor in Heptares, and made a significant contribution to the development and success of the company in his role as a Board Director between 2007 and 2015.

About Heptares Therapeutics 

Heptares is a clinical-stage company creating transformative medicines targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a superfamily of 375 receptors linked to a wide range of human diseases. Heptares' proprietary StaRŪ technology and structure-based drug design (SBDD) capabilities enable us to engineer and develop drugs for highly validated, yet historically undruggable or challenging GPCRs. Using this approach, we are building an exciting pipeline of new medicines (small molecules and biologics) with the potential to transform the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, cancer immune-oncology, migraine, addiction, metabolic disease and other indications. We have partnerships for our novel candidates and technologies with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Allergan, AstraZeneca, Daiichi Sankyo, Kymab, MedImmune, MorphoSys, Pfizer and Teva.

Heptares is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation. For more information, please visit www.heptares.com and www.sosei.com.

HEPTARES is a registered trademark in the EU, Switzerland, US and Japan;  

StaRŪ is a registered trademark in the EU and Japan.

About Sosei

Sosei is a biopharmaceutical company originating from Japan but with global presence. Sosei's primary business model is based on identifying novel and/or differentiated product assets or technology platforms and, through supporting these in preclinical and clinical development and establishing commercial partnerships, advancing new medicines to patients worldwide. For more information about Sosei, please visit www.sosei.com.

About Michael Steinmetz and the Steinmetz Cardiomyopathy Fund 

Michael Steinmetz (1947-2016) was a leader in the biopharmaceutical industry for over 35 years, initially as a research scientist in immunology, then a leader in pharmaceutical R&D with Hoffman La-Roche, and eventually an accomplished venture capital investor with MPM Capital and Clarus Ventures, which he co-founded in 2005. As an investor, Michael successfully invested in over 30 startups, providing a constructive influence from the Boards on which he served.

Michael died suddenly in August 2016 of Familial Dilated Cardiomyopathy (FDC), an inherited and aggressive form of heart disease, which occurs when the heart muscle dilates, cannot contract normally, and therefore cannot pump blood efficiently. Over time, this leads to heart failure.

To celebrate Michael's memory, his family created a nonprofit foundation - the Steinmetz Cardiomyopathy Fund - to find a cure for FDC and help all affected families, since currently there is no targeted treatment. The funds will be used for research at Stanford University led by Michael's son Lars Steinmetz, PhD, a Professor of Genetics at Stanford who is also the Co-Director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center.  

Donations to the fund can be made online via https://makeagift.stanford.edu

- Select Stanford Medicine, then Stanford Medicine (Other) from the drop-down options

- Type in "GHEYN- Steinmetz Cardiomyopathy Fund- IMO Michael Steinmetz"

SOURCE Heptares Therapeutics



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