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Sosei finds its R&D engine

How Japan's Sosei plans to turn Heptares into its R&D engine

By Stephen Hansen, Associate Editor

Sosei Group Corp. has only one clinical candidate in development, but the Japanese biotech may have found its R&D engine in drug discovery platform company Heptares Therapeutics Ltd. The M&A deal marks a clean break from Sosei's recent history as a reprofiling company and, according to founder, Chairman and CEO Shinichi Tamura, should make the company globally competitive as a pure play biotech developing innovative molecules against GPCR targets.

Sosei last week said it would acquire Heptares for $180 million up front and up to $220 million in milestones. Tamura said the most important asset is Heptares' StaR drug discovery technology, which stabilizes GPCRs in their functional forms, allowing for isolation and purification outside the native cell membrane.

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