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Heptares Therapeutics reinforces patent protection for the generation of stabilized GPCRs to which novel drug leads can be developed

Heptares Therapeutics Ltd has announced the grant of a core patent in the UK on its technology for generating stabilized GPCRs (StaRs) and a series of UK patents on specific StaRs and their use in drug screening (GB2456235, GB2456237, GB2456904 and GB2456236).

These are the first granted patents based on the initial patent families Heptares, a drug discovery company focused on G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets, acquired from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (Cambridge, UK) at its incorporation in 2007.

Heptares’s patent strategy is central to it building a position around the creation of stabilized GPCRs and their applications in drug discovery. Since incorporation, Heptares has made considerable progress in optimizing its StaR platform and building an in-house drug discovery capability. As a result, Heptares has expanded the protection on its novel StaR platform substantially with further applications (several as yet unpublished) on stabilization methods, StaRs and the uses of StaRs. In addition, Heptares has made several filings on novel chemical series against several receptors derived through its access to otherwise intractable GPCR targets.

Heptares’ StaR technology enables GPCRs, which are normally membrane-bound, to be worked on in solution, enabling the use of structure-based drug discovery technologies and the discovery of novel drugs that address this important set of targets. Heptares is deploying this technology principally to generate small-molecule drugs against currently difficult or intractable GPCR targets in several disease areas.

‘Through its founding relationship with the MRC, exclusive licensing, careful management of proprietary know-how, and its own in-house GPCR and drug discovery expertise, Heptares has created a well-protected position for its StaR technology platform,’ said Malcolm Weir, Heptares’ CEO. ‘From this position, we are confident we can maximize the commercial potential of our StaR platform as we generate novel proprietary drug leads against selected GPCRs.’

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