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.
28.01.2015 EMA recommends suspending around 750 generic medicines marketed throughout the world after India’s GVK Biosciences is accused of faking bioequivalence studies. Meds considered critically important for patients will remain available.
20.01.2015 Ebola research projects are set to receive €215m in funding from the European Commission’s IMI2 Ebola+ programme. Among the project partners are vaccine developers Glaxosmithkline, Johnson&Johnson and Merck.
13.01.2015 Shire beefs up its rare disease portfolio after acquiring NPS Pharma with the aim of becoming a leading biotech in a US$5.2bn deal. Part of the deal is the US biotech's lead portfolio of gastrointestinal and hormone replacement therapies.