Metrion Biosciences and Sosei Heptares to Explore Structure-based Drug Discovery (SBDD) Approaches to Ion Channels through Strategic Technology Collaboration

Cambridge, UK and Tokyo, Japan, 01 February 2021– Metrion Biosciences Limited (“Metrion”), the specialist ion channel CRO and drug discovery company and Sosei Group Corporation (“the Company”; TSE: 4565), the international biopharmaceutical group, announce they will apply Sosei Heptares’ world-leading structure-based drug design (SBDD) expertise and platform to ion channels for the first time through a new strategic collaboration.

 

Ion channels are a class of integral membrane proteins that regulate the flow of ions across the cell membrane as a means of conducting signals between cells and their environment. They are well established drug targets, particularly in neurological and cardiovascular diseases, but many remain undrugged or poorly drugged, and may be tractable to structure-based approaches.

 

The collaboration aims to demonstrate the potential of Sosei Heptares’ SBDD technologies to address disease-associated ion channels and work towards establishing a leadership position in this area, in a similar way that it has done for G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).

 

As a first step, Sosei Heptares and Metrion will combine their respective capabilities in a drug discovery program to identify novel, highly specific drug leads for further development against a single ion channel associated with neurological diseases.

 

Metrion will contribute intellectual property, know-how and use of screening models for the nominated ion channel target. Sosei Heptares will apply its technologies for structure determination studies and SBDD. Sosei Heptares will have exclusive, full global rights to all molecules identified and directed to the targets for development by Sosei Heptares. No further financial details are disclosed.

 

Andrew Southan, Chief Executive Officer of Metrion Biosciences, commented: “Resolving the 3D structure of ion channel proteins has great potential to accelerate the discovery of potent, selective new drugs targeting this highly important class of human proteins. This opportunity to combine Metrion Biosciences’ depth of target class knowledge and assay expertise with Sosei Heptares’ Structure-Based Drug Discovery capabilities has considerable potential to achieve scientific and commercial breakthroughs in this field.  On behalf of the entire Metrion team I would like to thank Sosei Heptares for selecting Metrion Biosciences for this work and we look forward to a successful alliance.”

 

Rob Cooke, Chief Technology Officer of Sosei Heptares, added: “We are extremely pleased to enter this collaboration with Metrion in the hugely exciting area of ion channels. Their experience enables us to extend our world-leading expertise in Structure-Based Drug Discovery for GPCRs to other membrane proteins where structural input to drug discovery has been more limited. This strategic technology collaboration is the latest in a series we have made with highly innovative companies in recent months designed to strengthen our platform and enhance our discovery and partnering opportunities. In addition to Metrion, these collaborations with Captor Therapeutics in targeted protein degradation and with PharmEnable to access proprietary artificial intelligence-enabled and medicinal chemistry technologies are a key factor to drive our future growth ambitions.” 

 

 

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About Sosei Heptares

We are an international biopharmaceutical group focused on the discovery and early development of new medicines originating from our proprietary GPCR-targeted StaR® technology and structure-based drug design platform capabilities. We are advancing a broad and deep pipeline of novel medicines across multiple therapeutic areas, including neurology, immunology, gastroenterology and inflammatory diseases.

 

We have established partnerships with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Biohaven, Genentech (Roche), GSK, Novartis, Pfizer and Takeda and additionally with multiple emerging technology companies. Sosei Heptares is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with corporate and R&D facilities in Cambridge, UK.

 

“Sosei Heptares” is the corporate brand and trademark of Sosei Group Corporation, which is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (ticker: 4565). Sosei, Heptares, the logo and StaR® are trademarks of Sosei Group companies.

 

For more information, please visit https://www.soseiheptares.com/

LinkedIn: @soseiheptaresco | Twitter: @soseiheptaresco | YouTube: @soseiheptaresco

 

About Metrion Biosciences

Metrion Biosciences is a specialist ion-channel contract research organization and drug discovery business. The Company provides customers with access to a range of high-quality ion channel assays on a fee-for-service or collaboration basis. Metrion Biosciences’ ion channel expertise includes an industry leading panel of in vitro cardiac ion channel safety assays, translational native cell and phenotypic assays for neurological and cardiotoxicity testing, and a range of other ion channel screening services such as cell line development and optimization. Metrion Biosciences is able to provide tailored assay formats, data analysis and reporting solutions, effective project management and quality assured data packages.

 

For more information, please visit www.metrionbiosciences.com

LinkedIn: @metrion-biosciences  | Twitter: @metrion_biosci

 

Enquiries:

Metrion Biosciences

Katie Odgaard – Zyme Communications

+44 (0)7787 502 947 | katie.odgaard@zymecommunications.com

 

Sosei Heptares – Media and Investor Relations

Hironoshin Nomura, SVP Investor Relations and Corporate Strategy

+81 (0)3 6679 2178 | Hironoshin.Nomura@SoseiHeptares.com

 

Shinichiro Nishishita, VP Investor Relations, Head of Regulatory Disclosures

+81 (0)3 5210 3399 | IR@SoseiHeptares.com

 

Citigate Dewe Rogerson (for Sosei Heptares)

Yas Fukuda – Japanese Media

+81 (0)3 4360 9234 | Yas.Fukuda@citigatedewerogerson.com

 

Mark Swallow, David Dible – International Media

+44 (0)20 7638 9571 | SoseiHeptares@citigatedewerogerson.com

 

 

Sosei Heptares Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about the discovery, development and commercialization of products. Various risks may cause Sosei Group Corporation’s actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including: adverse results in clinical development programs; failure to obtain patent protection for inventions; commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and commercialize products and services; difficulties or delays in obtaining regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting from development efforts; the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research and development and to expand commercialization activities; and product initiatives by competitors. As a result of these factors, prospective investors are cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statements. We disclaim