In the recent past, Japan-based Sosei Group Corporation entered into a global collaboration and signed license agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), aiming on the discovery and development of, oral, selective, small molecule agonists of GPR35. Moreover, GPR35 is a vital orphan G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) exhibiting genetic association to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other gastrointestinal immune disorders. Under the agreement, Sosei Heptares will develop GPR35 agonists utilizing its StaR technology and structure-based drug design (SBDD) platform, whereas GSK will license its global rights. The licensed portfolio will include advanced lead preclinical compound, along with several differentiated back-up compounds.
Moreover, under the collaboration Sosei Heptares and GSK will focus on research and early preclinical development and GSK will manage clinical development, manufacturing, and marketing of the drug candidate. In addition, under this collaboration, Sosei Heptares will receive an upfront payment and research funding of up to US$ 44 million. The company might receive additional development, and other payments accounting for US$ 437 million. Furthermore, Sosei Heptares is eligible to gain tiered, royalties on net sales, subsequently from the collaboration.
Shinichi Tamura, Chairman, President and CEO of Sosei Heptares, stated, “We continue to make great progress in leveraging our unparalleled SBDD capabilities and significant investment in translational biology and therapeutic area strategies to create targeted and differentiated small molecules with potential to address clear unmet needs in gastrointestinal and immune disorders. This approach has yielded multiple opportunities for generating value through our strategy of drug discovery, early development and partnering.”