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Heptares Secures GBP21 Million in Series A Fund Raising to Accelerate Development of Pipeline of Small Molecules Against High-Value GPCR Drug Targets
Date:2/24/2009

ions that retain their drug-binding characteristics. The Company can then apply contemporary drug discovery approaches, such as crystallisation and structure-based design, biophysical analysis of ligand interactions, and fragment screening to stabilised GPCRs. This unique approach is expected to radically improve the chances of finding drugs to previously intractable targets and enable the development of safer and more selective therapeutic agents.

Heptares was founded in 2007 as a spin-out from the prestigious MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (Cambridge, UK) based on world-class pioneering research and expertise in GPCRs. In 2008, the StaR technology was used successfully to elucidate the three-dimensional atomic resolution structure of the beta-1 adrenergic receptor, which is the site of action of beta blockers.

Heptares' CEO, Dr Malcolm Weir, said: "We are very pleased to have completed this significant fundraising in the current economic environment. We are delighted to have attracted such a truly international group of blue-chip investors and see this as a real endorsement of the quality and commercial potential of our StaR technology. We now have a very good opportunity to implement our strategy for generating new drug candidates to highly validated but previously challenging GPCRs."

Dr Michael Steinmetz, Managing Partner at Clarus Ventures, said: "Heptares has made impressive progress in developing its unique StaR technology since its inception in 2007. Its platform has the potential to make important GPCR drug targets accessible to drug discovery techniques previously not applicable to this class of proteins. The commercial opportunity arising from developing new first/best-in-class drugs to GPCRs is clear, particularly with pharmaceutical company pipelines under pressure. We are pleased and excited to participate in this funding round with MVM and Novartis Option Fund, and are committed t
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SOURCE Heptares Therapeutics Ltd
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