Sosei Heptares announces further scientific progress with orexin agonist program in conjunction with spin-off companies Orexia and Inexia
• Sosei Heptares solves structure of the agonist bound orexin OX2 receptor and identifies small molecule binding site using unique StaR® technology and structure-based approach
• New improved insights into the receptor’s structure will help optimize the discovery and development of novel molecules targeting neurological diseases
Tokyo, Japan and London, UK, 7 May 2020 – Sosei Group Corporation (“the Company”; TSE: 4565) announces that it has made further significant progress with its orexin program, which is being developed in conjunction with its spin-off companies Orexia Limited (“Orexia”) and Inexia Limited (“Inexia”).
These spin-off companies were created by Sosei Heptares and venture capital firm Medicxi in 2019 to develop novel therapies based on positive modulators of the G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) Orexin OX1 and OX2 for neurological diseases, including narcolepsy. Orexia and Inexia are funded by Medicxi under a €40 million commitment.
Mario Alberto Accardi Ph.D., CEO of Orexia and Inexia, commented: “We are delighted with this latest scientific breakthrough on the structure of the agonist bound orexin OX2 receptor through our work with Sosei Heptares. The level of structural detail we now have is exceptional. We are confident that this important advance, combined with the drug discovery and design capability we have assembled based around Sosei Heptares’ world-leading platform, will drive our efforts to progress highly selective and potent molecules for the treatment of neurological diseases.”
Dr. Rob Cooke, Chief Technology Officer at Sosei Heptares, added: “We are very excited by the detailed insights into the structure of the OX2 receptor that we have generated. The power of our StaR® technology and SBDD approach in this instance has enabled us to solve the structure of OX2 to high resolution, and with that to pinpoint the binding site for small molecule agonists. These new findings, which have been delivered despite the operational challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, demonstrate the strength of the Sosei Heptares scientific team and our commitment and capacity to support Orexia and Inexia and our other partners during these challenging times.”
About Orexia and Inexia
Orexia and Inexia are focused on developing Orexin OX1 and OX2 positive modulators and products derived therefrom, including dual OX1/OX2 agonists, targeting neurological diseases including narcolepsy. Orexia focuses on the development of oral therapies, while Inexia focuses on the development of candidates for intranasal delivery using the Optinose Exhalation Delivery System.
The orexin system is a key regulator of behavioural arousal, wakefulness and sleep. The loss of the orexin neurons causes narcolepsy and has been linked to multiple neurological conditions. Despite orexin neurodegeneration, orexin receptors on target cells remain intact and functional, providing an opportunity for therapeutic intervention.
Orexia and Inexia were created in 2019 through a structured financing agreement between Sosei Heptares and Medicxi, which has committed up to €40 million to invest in both companies.
Both companies gain exclusive access to relevant intellectual property, know-how and development capabilities from Sosei Heptares, including access to the StaR® platform and associated SBDD expertise. Sosei Heptares retains an equity holding in both companies and will receive R&D payments as well as further payments on the achievement of pre-defined development milestones.
About Sosei Heptares
We are an international biopharmaceutical group focused on the discovery and early development of new medicines originating from our proprietary GPCR-targeted StaR® technology and structure-based drug design platform capabilities. We are advancing a broad and deep pipeline of novel medicines across multiple therapeutic areas, including CNS, immuno-oncology, gastroenterology, inflammation and other rare/specialty indications.
We have established partnerships with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, including Allergan, AstraZeneca, Daiichi-Sankyo, Genentech (Roche), Novartis, Pfizer and Takeda; and with innovative biotechnology companies, including Kymab, MorphoSys and PeptiDream. Sosei Heptares is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with R&D facilities in Cambridge, UK.
“Sosei Heptares” is the corporate brand and trademark of Sosei Group Corporation, which is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (ticker: 4565). Sosei, Heptares, the logo and StaR® are trademarks of Sosei Group companies.
For more information, please visit https://www.soseiheptares.com/
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