Ono Pharmaceutical and Receptos inked an R&D collaboration focused on the development of small molecule modulators against an undisclosed GPCR target. Receptos will use its GPCR structure technology platform to generate high resolution protein crystal structures of the target, to aid its partner’s structure-based drug-design work. Ono will pay Receptos an up-front payment, research funding and development-based milestones.
San Diego-based Receptos is exploiting its GPCR cell- and protein-based screening and receptor structure determination platforms for the rational design of drugs against GPCR targets. The firm’s technologies are founded on GPCR protein crystallization/structure determination technology licensed from The Scripps Research Institute.
The firm’s lead in house candidate, RPC1063, is a selective, orally available sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) agonist in Phase I development initially as a potential treatment for relapsing, remitting multiple sclerosis, and potentially against other autoimmune disorders. The ongoing U.S. Phase I trial in healthy volunteers was initiated in January and is expected to be completed in 2011. A Phase II proof-of-concept study is expected to start during 2012. Receptos has additional ongoing GPCR partnerships with Lilly and and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen.