Heptares Therapeutics signed an agreement with Cubist Pharmaceuticals to collaborate on the research and discovery of new medicines targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).

Cubist will receive exclusive worldwide rights to research, develop, and commercialize products generated from the collaboration. The collaborative research will focus on up to two GPCR drug targets to be selected by Cubist. For the first target, Heptares will receive $5.5 million up-front and up to approximately $4 million in research funding plus milestones and royalties. Cubist also has the option to nominate a second GPCR target at a later point in the collaboration, on which Heptares has agreed to work. 

“We are pleased to collaborate with Heptares, a recognized leader in the GPCR field, to pursue potential new GPCR drug candidates,” Steve Gilman, Cubist evp, R&D, and CSO said, “This partnership underscores our commitment to develop a robust pipeline of novel products that address high unmet medical needs in patients with acute diseases.”

Heptares’ GPCR expertise is also currently being tapped by the Kinetics for Drug Discovery (K4DD) Consortium, with the aim of discovering new drugs by investigating the kinotypic properties of drug-receptor complexes. Also, in March of last year, Shire made a potentially $190 million deal with Heptares for an exclusive worldwide license to Heptares’ adenosine A2A receptor antagonist candidate for the treatment of CNS disorders.

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