Cubist bags GPCR drug
Enlarge image


Cubist bags GPCR drug

08.01.2013 - US-based Cubist Pharmaceuticals and British Heptares sealed a €7.2m license deal. Cubist pays to snatch a drug candidate for an undisclosed GPCR target.

The small spin-off Heptares Therapeutics from Welwyn Garden City north of London has landed a license deal with US biopharma Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Heptares’ area of expertise are G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR). Cubist will pay €4.2m up front and €3.1m in research funding plus undisclosed milestone payments and royalties. Heptares, in return, uses its proprietary platform technology to screen for drug candidates targeting an unnamed GPCR specified by Cubist. The deal also includes an option for a second target. Financial details covering that part of the collaboration have been predetermined – but will not be made public. Both parties agreed that the preclinical development will be carried out solely by Cubist.

Heptares was spun off from the Medical Research Council in 2007. The company engineers stabilised GPCRs (so-called STaRs), circumventing the problematic handling of the otherwise labile receptors. The UK firm entered biopharma main stage only last spring when it became eligible to receive payments potentially equalling €145m. Back then Irish Shire plc licensed a Heptares-discovered preclinical antagonist of the GPCR A2A (see photo) which could turn to a new CNS disorders medicine. Also AstraZeneca and Novartis belong to Heptares’ customers.



09.10.2015 The US pricing controversy is reverberating halfway across the globe. Shield Therapeutics has taken its IPO plans off the table. Market conditions are too volatile, the company says.


07.10.2015 T-cell specialist Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc needs more space for its R&D in immuno-oncology. The expanding UK company is building a major facility that will house 200 staff.

Drug DiscoveryGermany

06.10.2015 Evotec has been hired by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) to provide compound management services to the Chemical Biology Consortium. The goal: the discovery of new cancer treatments.

Drug DevelopmentUKBelgium

01.10.2015 Autoimmune disease specialist Apitope has raised €12m in a Series B financing round and is relocating its UK headquarters to Wales.

Drug DevelopmentFranceEUFinlandSpainItalyAustria

01.10.2015 Paris-based BEAM Alliance, a network of companies working on novel antibiotics founded earlier this year, has released its first position paper.


29.09.2015 Swiss CNS specialist Asceneuron SA has raised CHF30m (€27.5m) in a Series A financing, winning Paris-based Sofinnova Partners as its largest investor.


28.09.2015 US company Aduro Biotech has acquired Dutch monoclonal antibody discovery and development firm BioNovion for €29m plus milestones.


24.09.2015 Nutrition company Nestlé is teaming up with biopharmaceutical company AC Immune SA to develop a Tau diagnostic assay for early Alzheimer’s.


22.09.2015 Bayer has taken another step in its restructuring and development as a life sciences company after splitting from all its chemical divisions.


18.09.2015 AstraZeneca has partnered up with the US Department of Health in order to accelerate the development of new antibiotics. The goal: to be prepared for multi-resistant bugs – and for bioterrorism.


All Events

Current issue

All issues

Product of the week


Stock list

All quotes


  • ZELTIA (E)4.12 EUR22.99%
  • WILEX (D)2.20 EUR10.00%
  • DEINOVE (F)6.85 EUR7.54%


  • IMMUPHARMA (UK)28.50 GBP-12.98%
  • BAVARIAN NORDIC (D)35.60 EUR-8.48%


  • THROMBOGENICS (B)4.08 EUR43.7%
  • OREXO (S)65.25 SEK40.9%
  • ZEALAND PHARMA (DK)155.00 DKK26.0%


  • THERAMETRICS (CH)0.04 CHF-33.3%
  • IMMUPHARMA (UK)28.50 GBP-30.1%


  • KARO BIO (S)43.10 SEK5221.0%
  • CHRONTECH PHARMA (S)0.34 SEK325.0%
  • GALAPAGOS (B)38.85 EUR237.5%


  • NEOVACS (F)0.72 EUR-76.7%
  • BIOTEST (D)19.00 EUR-74.8%
  • EVOCUTIS (UK)0.16 GBP-70.9%

No liability assumed, Date: 09.10.2015