Heptares Therapeutics has successfully completed the research phase of its antibody drug discovery collaboration with MedImmune, the biologics R&D arm of AstraZeneca. Heptares has delivered StaR proteins (thermostabilised G protein-coupled receptors, GPCRs) for targets selected by MedImmune under a research collaboration initiated in May 2011. Heptares received milestone payments for each project nominated by the target and delivery of the StaR protein.
Heptares, using its StaR technology, has determined that approximately 100 GPCR targets across a range of diseases including cancer, fibrosis, inflammation, respiratory, pain, are suitable and commercially viable as antibody targets. Heptares is now leveraging its StaR platform to generate antigens for GPCR antibody drug discovery via partnerships with MedImmune and other companies.
Malcolm Weir, Heptares chief executive officer, said, "The delivery of a StaR for each nominated target is an important achievement in the successful research phase of our collaboration with MedImmune. The StaR proteins will be used by MedImmune as antigens, for which novel therapeutic antibodies can be generated. The ability of our StaR platform to generate antigen for antibody drug discovery, as exemplified by the success of our collaboration with MedImmune, highlights the potential of this technology to transform GPCR-targeted drug design and development."