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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

LONDON, February 24 /PRNewswire/ --

- Syndicate Comprises Leading Sector Investors Clarus Ventures, MVM Life Science Partners and Novartis Option Fund

Heptares Therapeutics Ltd, the drug discovery company focused on drugs targeting G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), announces today it has raised GBP21 million (US$30 million) of equity finance in a successful Series A private round from three blue-chip international venture capital firms. Clarus Ventures led the syndicate, which includes the founding investor, MVM Life Science Partners, and the Novartis Option Fund. All three investors contributed equally.

Michael Steinmetz for Clarus Ventures and Anja Koenig for the Novartis Option Fund have joined the Heptares Board of Directors as non-executive directors.

Over the next three years, Heptares intends to use the new funds to develop its own pipeline of small-molecule drug candidates using its proprietary StaR(TM) technology platform. These novel drug candidates will be developed against currently intractable GPCRs that are highly validated targets for the treatment of disease. Further progress in the application of StaR technology over this period is also expected to yield commercial partnering opportunities outside Heptares' core focus, for example, improved therapeutic antibodies against GPCRs.

GPCRs play a crucial role in many diseases and are the site of action of 25-30% of current drugs; as such they represent a major area of interest for pharmaceutical companies. However, these membrane proteins are notoriously difficult to isolate from cells in an intact and active form and this has severely restricted efforts to study GPCRs using modern drug discovery techniques.

Heptares' StaR (Stabilised Receptor) technology platform enables the Company to overcome this technology hurdle by engineering and purifying GPCRs in stable and functional conformat
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SOURCE Heptares Therapeutics Ltd
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