Heptares Therapeutics Ltd, the drug discovery company focused on G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets, has recently announced that it has entered into an option agreement with the Novartis Option Fund under which Heptares will apply its proprietary StaR(TM) technology to generate novel drug leads against a nominated, unspecified GPCR target of interest to Novartis. The agreement includes upfront and potential milestone payments to Heptares totaling up to $200 million plus royalties.
This year’s chemistry Nobel Prize has been awarded to Dr Venki Ramakrishnan of LMB for “studies of the structure and function of the ribosome”.
Venki Ramakrishnan shares the honour with Thomas A. Steitz (Yale University) and Ada E. Yonath (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel). The trio showed how the information encoded on strands of DNA is translated into the proteins of life.
Two therapies with their roots in antibody technology developed in the LMB and the Scripps Research Institute* have recently emerged as promising new drug candidates to treat lupus, a potentially fatal autoimmune disease, and anthrax, a pressing concern due to bioterrorism.