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.
12.05.2015 US pharma is coming to European biotech to fill their pipeline. Pfizer is paying €77.5m for an option on Dutch AM-Pharma, while Juno Therapeutics acquired German biotech Stage Cell Therapeutics for around €72m.
26.05.2015 The Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea has joined the Dutch MEB in its stance on the interchangeability of biosimilars. The Fimea now sees physician-driven switching of biologics as unproblematic.
20.05.2015 The Scottish Government has announced it will double the amount of funds for rare diseases. The New Medicines Fund that was created last year for this purpose will be increased to £80m (€112m).
30.04.2015 The European Parliament has given the go-ahead on a new law limiting the use of harmful crop-based biofuel in the transport sector. The decision marks a breakthrough in the EU’s approach to biofuels.
SuperScript® III Reverse Transcriptase (RT) is a proprietary mutant of SuperScript® II RT that is active at 50°C and has a half-life of 220 minutes, providing increased specificity with gene-specific primers (GSPs) and the highest cDNA yield of all RTs. more