Tokyo-headquartered biopharma Sosei Heptares (TSE:4565) announced that it had won Licensing Deal of the Year and Executive of the Year at the inaugural Informa Pharma Intelligence Awards Japan.
A panel of experts from academia and business across Japan judged the awards series.
The judges selected Sosei Heptares’ potentially multibillion-dollar alliance with San Diego, California–based Neurocrine Biosciences for the licensing deal award. The two companies are working together to develop novel muscarinic receptor agonists for schizophrenia, dementia and other neurological conditions. Sosei Heptares announced the collaboration in November 2021.
Sosei Heptares could receive up to $2.6 billion in R&D funding and milestone payments while keeping rights to develop M1 muscarinic agonists in Japan for all indications.
The most advanced program involved in the partnership is HTL-0016878, a selective M4 agonist.
Neurocrine Biosciences intends to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the FDA and launch a placebo-controlled Phase 2 trial investigating the drug candidate’s potential as a treatment for schizophrenia before the end of 2022.
The company announced that the Informa Pharma Intelligence Award for executive of the year went to the company’s President and CEO, Chris Cargill. Cargill played a leading role in driving development and milestone periods in the award period of 2021. In addition, Cargill was the company’s chief financial officer at the time of nominations.
Sosei Heptares has partnerships with several prominent pharma companies, including AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Genentech, GSK, Kallyope, Neurocrine Biosciences, Novartis, Pfizer, Takeda and Verily.
In August, Sosei Heptares announced a new pact with AbbVie to explore the potential of small molecules modulating G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets for potential neurological conditions. The partnership will bring together Sosei’s StaR technology and structure-based drug design (SBDD) platform and AbbVie’s proficiency in neuroscience.
In addition to its headquarters in Japan, the company has R&D facilities in Cambridge, UK.