Sosei Group Corporation has translational medicine and R&D agreements with the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, UK, and KU Leuven, Belgium.
Sosei Heptares focuses on the design and development of structure-based drugs (SBDDs) focused on G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).
The goal of the agreements is to apply the innovative technologies and research capabilities of the respective academic groups to identify, validate and prioritize key GPCRs underlying gastrointestinal and immune disorders, including inflammatory diseases of the intestine (IBD), as targets of SBDD.
IBD is a heterogeneous chronic inflammatory disease with increasing worldwide prevalence. Between 1990 and 2017, the number of people with IBD increased from over 3.5 million to nearly 7 million.
Despite the growing therapeutic landscape, more than 50% of IBD patients fail to respond to conventional and advanced therapies. Major reasons for treatment failure include limited understanding of the precise proteins, cells, and mechanisms that change in patients affected by this disease, as well as poorly understood disease heterogeneity among patients.
New treatment opportunities
Studies by Alison Simmons’ research group in the MRC’s Human Immunology Unit, based at the MRC Weatherall’s Institute for Molecular Medicine, will apply technologies in combination with access to human patient tissue samples to help uncover the role of GPCRs in chronic intestinal inflammation and provide novel treatment possibilities for IBD.
The research at KU Leuven, led by Séverine Vermeire and Bram Verstockt, provides a complementary multi-omics profiling approach, which will interrogate highly selected patient samples to provide insight into the expression and function of GPCRs in the ” interactome” from the IBD.
Through this work, the partners plan to identify and confirm in human organoid cultures the biological relevance of key GPCR targets in responder and non-responder patient populations to help further advance precision medicine in the IBDs.
Alastair Brown, Senior Vice President of Translational Medicine at Sosei Heptares, said, “These agreements build on our commitment to excellence in translational medicine and support our strategy to identify and validate GPCR targets. This strategy allows us to partner with leading academic research institutions to enhance our translational medicine capabilities and accelerate the opportunity to deliver novel GPCR targets for the treatment of gastrointestinal and immune disorders.
“Our partners, both in Oxford and Leuven, bring important innovative and complementary skills that we believe will help Sosei Heptares develop a more informed understanding of the role of GPCRs in immune disorders and accelerate future discovery opportunities. of drugs.
Simmons added, “We are excited to work with Sosei Heptares to combine our respective research capabilities to explore the function of key gastrointestinal GPCRs whose activity is altered in inflammation. Our goal is to test our findings in human tissue samples and explore how these might better inform structure-based drug design for novel therapies to promote gut health in IBD.
Vermeire said, “This agreement with Sosei Heptares is proof of the significant interest and potential impact that improving our understanding of GPCRs can have on future IBD treatments. We are delighted to enter into this R&D agreement, which provides an important link between leading clinical academic centers and a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering SBDD-focused GPCRs.
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