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Sosei Heptares spin-off Company Orexia Therapeutics merged into newly created Centessa Pharmaceuticals

Sosei Heptares spin-off Company Orexia Therapeutics merged into newly created Centessa Pharmaceuticals 


  • Centessa combines 10 privately held biotech companies with highly validated programs led by industry leading teams
  • Centessa, founded by specialist life science VC firm Medicxi, has raised $250 million in Series A financing
  • Sosei Heptares’ shareholding in Orexia converted into shareholding in Centessa


Tokyo, Japan and Cambridge, UK, 16 February 2021 – Sosei Group Corporation (“the Company”; TSE: 4565) notes the announcement today from Centessa Pharmaceuticals (“Centessa”) about its launch as a novel asset-centric pharmaceutical company designed and built to advance a portfolio of highly validated programs. In conjunction with its launch, Centessa has completed the merger of 10 private biotech companies (“Centessa Subsidiaries”) that will each continue to develop its assets with oversight from the Centessa management team.


Centessa was founded by specialist life science venture capital firm Medicxi and raised $250 million in an oversubscribed Series A financing from a group of blue-chip investors.


Centessa’s asset-centric R&D model applied at scale has assembled best-in-class or first-in-class assets, each of which is led by specialized teams committed to accelerate development and reshape the traditional drug development process. With its unique operational framework, Centessa aims to reduce some of the key R&D inefficiencies that classical pharmaceutical companies face because of structural constraints.


Each Centessa Subsidiary team is asset-focused, in that it prosecutes a single program or biological pathway, with leadership provided by subject matter experts who are given a high degree of autonomy to advance each program. With a singular focus on advancing exceptional science, combined with proprietary capabilities, including structure-based drug discovery and design, the subsidiary teams enable Centessa to potentially develop and deliver impactful medicines to patients.


Orexia Therapeutics (“Orexia”), a new entity comprising Orexia Limited and Inexia Limited, which were created in February 2019 by Sosei Heptares and Medicxi, has been merged into Centessa. Orexia is developing oral and intranasal orexin receptor agonists using structure-based drug design approaches. These agonists target the treatment of narcolepsy type 1, where they have the potential to directly address the underlying pathology of orexin neuron loss, as well as other neurological disorders characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness.


Sosei Heptares continues to provide research services to Orexia and its equity holding in Orexia has been converted into a proportional shareholding in Centessa.

The full announcement from Centessa can be found at or by clicking here


Miles Congreve, Chief Scientific Officer of Sosei Heptares, commented: “This is a very exciting development for Orexia and we are delighted that it has been selected to be part of Centessa. We look forward to seeing this novel scaled asset-centric operating model in action and believe it will overcome existing pharma R&D inefficiencies to drive the rapid development of new medicines for patients.”

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Last Updated: 17-Feb-2021