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.
16.12.2014 Two consortia combined of 144 European companies, research institutes and universities have been selected for funding by the EIT in the areas of health and raw materials. Both clusters are set to acquire €1.1bn over the next seven years.
10.12.2014 When it comes to the biggest investors in Research and Development (R&D) Swiss pharma top dogs Novartis and Roche have defended their positioning among the top ten companies worldwide – according to a recently published EU study.
05.12.2014 Austrian contract research company VTU has entered into a development and commercialisation agreement with US company RCT. The partners want to combine both companies' Pichia pastoris protein production technologies under VTU's roof.
03.12.2014 Danish biotech pharma Ascendis has successfully completed a €48m Series D financing round. The funding is expected to support its late-stage clinical trials to push its lead drug into Phase III trials.