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Sosei Heptares to Embed Agile Operating Model and Enhance its Translational Medicine Capabilities through Strategic Collaboration with Weatherden

·7-min read
Sosei Group Corporation
Sosei Group Corporation
  • Key focus on enabling prioritization and rapid progression of pipeline programs through to clinical proof-of-concept, a key milestone for value creation

  • Sosei Heptares will use the collaboration to ‘turbo charge’ its internal discovery and early clinical development strategy, and unlock the full potential of its world-leading GPCR-based drug discovery and development platform

  • Weatherden is a pioneering clinical development consulting group trusted by biopharma, venture capital funds, startups, spin-outs and nonprofit organizations to deliver better drugs, faster

TOKYO and CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom, April 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sosei Group Corporation (“the Company”; TSE: 4565) today announces a strategic collaboration with Weatherden, a pioneering clinical development consulting group. The collaboration aims to build upon Sosei Heptares’ world-leading G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) structure-based drug design (SBDD) platform and expertise and Weatherden’s translational medicine and drug development expertise to create an agile operating model supported by best-in-class drug discovery and development teams. The goal being to accelerate the prioritization and progression of multiple pipeline programs through Phase 1b/2a trials to establish clinical proof-of-concept. This stage represents a key value inflection point that Sosei Heptares intends to achieve as part of its evolution to become a multi-program, clinical-stage biotech company.

By leveraging Weatherden’s extensive experience, scientific expertise and data driven approach, together with its commercial focus on pharmaceutical asset evaluation and development, Sosei Heptares is bringing together the operational and technical expertise needed to enable a ‘venture-like’ capital allocation approach to pipeline development.

In this way, the Company aims to optimize decision-making and value generation by:

  • creating new, efficient drug discovery and development pathways,

  • accelerating the translation of its world-leading science into life-changing therapeutics for patients, and

  • maximizing partnering transaction opportunities by taking selected in-house programs to clinical proof-of-concept stage

“Sosei Heptares’ world-leading platform gives us access to more GPCR drug discovery opportunities than can be tackled in a lifetime. It is essential to our long-term success that we continually enhance our ability to identify and prioritize these opportunities to optimize value creation for patients and shareholders,” said Chris Cargill, President and CEO of Sosei Heptares. “Sosei Heptares has an exceptional opportunity to embed agile, program-centric operating practices across its discovery and early development activities to be as efficient and productive as possible. We are uniquely positioned to do this because our expanding discovery platform has the potential to produce an abundance of new, high-quality drug candidates to which VC-like capital allocation and a ‘quick win/fast fail’ approach can be applied.

“By focusing on translational medicine, which we see as the R&D ‘sweet spot’ for investment in new programs, we will rigorously ‘test the hypothesis’ earlier during more economical phases of drug development to optimize our pipeline decisions going forward. This agile approach will allow us to rapidly advance only programs we believe have the best probability of success through to proof-of-concept, with strong product profiles, and the potential to become the life-changing therapeutics of the future.

“We are excited to be partnering with Weatherden, whose experience across the early development stage, and particularly in translational medicine, complements Sosei Heptares’ existing expertise in early-stage drug discovery. We look forward to a dynamic, and productive partnership as we look to maximize the value from our extensive pipeline and support major partnering transaction opportunities to fund our continued expansion and maximize returns.”

Emma Tinsley, CEO of Weatherden, added: “The sheer scale of the GPCR opportunity alongside Sosei Heptares’ ability to exploit this area makes this collaboration extremely exciting. Our track record in efficiently designing and delivering Phase 1b/2a clinical trials will be of great benefit to support Sosei Heptares in its transition to a multi clinical-stage asset company. We are looking forward to working closely with the Sosei Heptares team to enhance its pipeline development approach. We are confident that by combining our skills and experience, the Company will be well positioned to drive its programs forward efficiently and effectively, and to fully realise the potential of its innovative technology and accelerate the progress of much needed medicines for patients worldwide.”

In March 2022, Sosei Heptares announced changes to its senior leadership designed to support its new growth strategy and the enhanced focus on translational medicine. The Company has already made progress towards this goal through the addition of expertise internally, and through entering collaborations with innovative technology companies. This has already yielded novel targets and new ways of exploring and exploiting the Company’s platform and this latest collaboration with Weatherden provides another important element in maximizing the value of these advances.

The strategic collaboration with Weatherden will initially focus on supporting the translational medicine and clinical development plans for the Company’s H4 antagonist and GPR52 agonist programs. There is no change to the Company’s forecast R&D expense guidance for FY2022.

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 neurology, immunology, gastroenterology, and inflammatory diseases.

We have established partnerships with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies and multiple emerging biotechnology companies, including AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Biohaven, Genentech (Roche), GSK, Neurocrine Biosciences, Novartis, Pfizer, Takeda and Verily. Sosei Heptares is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with corporate and 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://soseiheptares.com/
LinkedIn: @soseiheptaresco | Twitter: @soseiheptaresco | YouTube: @soseiheptaresco

About Weatherden
Weatherden is a pioneering clinical development consulting group trusted by biopharma, funds, startups, spin-outs and nonprofits. We advise companies from the earliest stages on scientific strategy, translational medicine and clinical development, through to diligence preparation and support for M&A. Our focus is on de-risking programs early, optimizing clinical, regulatory, and commercial pathways from discovery to market and accelerating the translation of novel science into life-changing medicines for patients.

Blending more than 750 years’ experience across the industry, we are invested in our clients’ success, motivated by the opportunity to rapidly improve the chances for breakthrough therapies to tackle unmet clinical need. Combining an agile biotech mindset with the proven expertise of pharmaceutical drug discovery and development, we work at the cutting edge of clinical, scientific and technological innovation to maximize value, enhance patient outcomes and simplify paths to market.

For more information, please visit: https://weatherden.co.uk/

Enquiries

Sosei Heptares – Media and Investor Relations
Japan
Hironoshin Nomura, Chief Financial Officer
+81 (0)3 6679 2178 | Hironoshin.Nomura@SoseiHeptares.com

Shinichiro Nishishita, VP Investor Relations, Head of Regulatory Disclosures
+81 (0)3 5210 3399 | IR@SoseiHeptares.com

United Kingdom
Candelle Chong, SVP Investor Relations and Corporate Strategy
+44 (0)1223 949390 | IR@SoseiHeptares.com

MEDiSTRAVA Consulting (for International Media)
Mark Swallow, David Dible, Eleanor Perkin
+44 (0)203 928 6900| SoseiHeptares@medistrava.com

Weatherden
Emma Tinsley, Chief Executive Officer
+44 (0)333 050 9157 | services@weatherden.co.uk

Forward-looking statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about the discovery, development, and commercialization of products. Various risks may cause Sosei Group Corporation’s actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including: adverse results in clinical development programs; 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 commercialize 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 commercialization 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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