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Press Release

Sosei Subsidiaries Heptares and Jitsubo to Develop Novel GPCR-Targeting Peptide Candidates for Severe Gastro-Intestinal Disorders

Sosei Group Corporation
Posted on: 10 Nov 16

Sosei Group Corporation (“Sosei”; TSE Mothers Index: 4565) announces that its subsidiaries, Heptares Therapeutics (“Heptares”) and Jitsubo Co., Ltd. (“Jitsubo”), have entered into a collaboration to develop novel peptide candidates designed to target a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) implicated in severe gastro-intestinal (GI) disorders. This represents the first strategic collaboration between Sosei subsidiaries, highlighting the complementary platforms at its disposal for the discovery and development of a sustainable pipeline of innovative therapeutics targeting diseases with unmet need.

Under the collaboration, Jitsubo will apply its PeptuneTM and Molecular HivingTM peptide engineering technologies and medicinal chemistry capabilities to a GPCR target selected by both Jitsubo and Heptares. Heptares has significant insights into the 3D structure of the receptor via its proprietary StaR® platform. The target GPCR plays an important role in several GI indications and is currently in discovery phase. Heptares will be responsible for development and commercialisation of any peptide candidates that emerge from the collaboration, and will make payments to Jitsubo on achievement of agreed milestones, plus royalties on future sales of any resulting products. No further details are disclosed.

Yusuke Kohno, CEO and co-founder of Jitsubo, said: “Heptares’ StaR® proteins provide an ideal model to apply Jitsubo’s proprietary peptide design and engineering capabilities. We are delighted to begin this first collaboration with Heptares that has the potential to demonstrate the combined power of our platforms for creating novel and highly selective peptide therapeutics targeting important protein receptors.”

Fiona Marshall, Chief Scientific Officer at Heptares and Chief Scientific Officer at Sosei, added: “There are a significant number of GPCRs with strong biological and clinical validation for their role in disease, and whose functions are modulated by peptides. This collaboration, which brings together the complementary platforms of Heptares and Jitsubo, provides an exciting opportunity for Heptares to expand its proprietary pipeline of novel small molecule therapeutics and biologics. We are particularly keen to leverage this collaboration to generate new peptide drug candidates that Heptares can develop itself.”

Peter Bains, Representative Executive Officer, CEO at Sosei, added: “Sosei has built a strong foundation of enabling technologies through M&A over recent years and is focused on leveraging these to deliver a sustainable flow of new drug candidates into our proprietary pipeline. We are very pleased therefore to see this first collaboration between Jitsubo and Heptares, which demonstrates the complementarity of their innovative platforms, and we look forward to seeing this programme advance.”

Notes to Editors

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 StaR® 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, Kymab, MedImmune, MorphoSys, Pfizer and Teva.

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

About Jitsubo Co., Ltd.
Jitsubo has a mission to contribute to the well-being of society through innovative peptide therapeutics and is aiming to become a world class R&D-focused pharmaceutical company that provides solutions to patients using its proprietary peptide-related technologies. Our goals are to address unmet medical needs and administer to the sustainable development of medical care. We pursue these objectives through Molecular Hiving™ (a novel technology to synthesize peptides in high-quality and at lower costs compared to existing methods) and Peptune™ (a peptide structure engineering technology that develops focused peptide libraries during drug discovery).
Jitsubo was acquired by the Sosei Group, an international biopharmaceutical drug development company, in December 2014, and enjoys invaluable support in both R&D and global network.

For further information, please visit

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 further information about Sosei, please visit

Forward-looking statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about the discovery, development and commercialisation of products. Various risks may cause Sosei’s actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including: adverse results in clinical development programmes; failure to obtain patent protection for inventions; commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and commercialise products and services; difficulties or delays in obtaining regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting from development efforts; the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research and development and to expand commercialisation activities; and product initiatives by competitors. As a result of these factors, prospective investors are cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statements. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Last updated on: 10/11/2016

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