Heptares Partners with Cubist to Research New Medicines Targeting GPCRs
By Heptares Therapeutics
Published: Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 - 4:12 am
WELWYN GARDEN CITY, England and BOSTON, January 7, 2013
Heptares Therapeutics, the leading GPCR drug discovery and development company, today announced they have signed an agreement with Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBST) to collaborate on the research and discovery of new medicines targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are membrane proteins involved in a broad range of biological processes and diseases.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cubist will receive exclusive worldwide rights to research, develop and commercialize products generated from the collaboration. The collaborative research will focus on up to two GPCR drug targets to be selected by Cubist. For the first target, Heptares will receive $5.5 million (USD) upfront and up to approximately $4 million in research funding plus milestones and royalties. Cubist also has the option to nominate a second GPCR target at a later point in the collaboration, which Heptares has agreed to work on according to pre-determined financials. Further terms of the agreement are not disclosed.
Steve Gilman, Cubist Executive Vice President, Research & Development and Chief Scientific Officer said: "We are pleased to collaborate with Heptares, a recognized leader in the GPCR field, to pursue potential new GPCR drug candidates. This partnership underscores our commitment to develop a robust pipeline of novel products that address high unmet medical needs in patients with acute diseases."
"We are very excited to work with Cubist, one of the fastest growing biopharmaceutical companies in the world and a commercial leader in the acute care therapeutics area," said Malcolm Weir, CEO of Heptares. "This agreement further demonstrates the strength of our strategy to extend the reach of our unique platform across the GPCR universe through partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and specialty companies, while advancing our own proprietary pipeline into clinical development."
About G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs)
The GPCR superfamily is the largest and single most important family of drug targets in the human body. It plays a central role in many biological processes and is linked to a wide range of disease areas. GPCRs are expressed in every type of cell in the body where their function is to transmit signals from outside the cell across the membrane to signaling pathways within the cell, between cells and between organ systems. There are over 375 GPCRs encoded in the human genome, of which 225 have known ligands and 150 are orphan targets. GPCRs are the site of action of 25-30% of current drugs. Six of the top ten and 60 of the top 200 best-selling drugs in the US in 2010 target GPCRs.
About Heptares Therapeutics
Heptares creates new medicines targeting clinically important, yet historically challenging, GPCRs (G protein-coupled receptors), a superfamily of drug receptors linked to a wide range of human diseases. Leveraging our advanced structure-based drug design technology platform, we have built an exciting discovery and development pipeline of novel drug candidates, which have the potential to transform the treatment of serious diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, migraine and diabetes. Our pharmaceutical partners include Shire, AstraZeneca, MedImmune, Takeda and Cubist, and we are backed by MVM Life Science Partners, Clarus Ventures, Novartis Venture Fund and Takeda Ventures. To learn more about Heptares, please visit http://www.heptares.com.