Heptares bags Takeda milestones
30.04.2013 - British GPCR specialist Heptares Therapeutics has achieved all milestones in its collaboration with Japanese pharma major Takeda Pharmaceutical.
Under the two-year £65m drug discovery alliance signed in April 2011, Heptares will cash in up to £1m research-stage milestones. The British company's success in stabilising a GPCR target that up to now was undruggable because it regularly degraded when removed from the cell membrane. Heptares succeeded to generate a stable but clinical relevant form of Takeda’s target molecule enabling rational design of different leads.
Takeda General Manager Tetsuyuki Maruyama announced that the leads will be taken forward now into pre-clinical development. Under the terms of the agreement, Takeda receives worldwide commercial rights to new drugs emerging from the collaboration. Upon signing, Heptares received an upfront payment of £1.7 million and an investment in an equity stake of approximately £2.8 million purchased by Takeda Ventures Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takeda. Heptares is eligible to receive $96 million in additional later-stage milestones plus royalties on product sales.
Heptares announced that the milestone fees will be used to finance the initiation of clinical studies with its proprietary drug candidate, a first-in-class selective M1 agonist later this year. The company’s pharmaceutical partners include Shire, AstraZeneca, MedImmune, Morphosys, Takeda and Cubist.