Heptares Founder Richard Henderson Receives Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 for Pioneering Work in cryo-EM for Visualising Biological Structures

05-Oct-2017 Intellasia | BusinessWire | 4:50 PM Print This Post

LONDON & TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Heptares Therapeutics (“Heptares”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sosei
Group Corporation (“Sosei”; TOKYO Mothers Index: 4565), is delighted
that one of its founders, Richard Henderson (MRC Laboratory of Molecular
Biology, Cambridge, UK), was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017
together with Jacques Dubochet (University of Lausanne, Switzerland) and
Joachim Frank (Columbia University, New York, USA) “for developing
cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination
of biomolecules in solution.”

Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is a technique for determining
three-dimensional information about protein structures at the molecular
level. Along with traditional methods for structure determination, such
as x-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy,
cryo-EM can reveal the structure of complex molecular assemblies to near
atomic level. Detailed information, such as this, is expected to improve
understanding of the structure and function of proteins under
investigation, and thereby advance the design of new drugs targeting
specific proteins. Heptares is applying the techniques of cryo-EM to
study G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) protein complexes, the insights
from which are helping to advance the discovery of potential new

Malcolm Weir, CEO and co-founder Heptares, said: “We are delighted that
Richard has received this most prestigious of awards. It is very well
deserved and justified recognition of his outstanding contribution to
science as a true pioneer of structural biology. His work on membrane
protein structure in particular provided the inspiration and scientific
foundation for Heptares’ work on GPCR structure-based drug design, and
we continue to benefit enormously from his contributions. We would like
to offer Richard and his fellow prize winners our warmest
congratulations for this fantastic achievement.”

Richard Henderson co-founded Heptares Therapeutics with Malcolm Weir,
Fiona Marshall and Chris Tate in 2007.

A link to the press release from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
can be found by clicking

About Heptares Therapeutics

Heptares is a clinical-stage company creating transformative medicines
targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a superfamily of 375
receptors linked to a wide range of human diseases. Heptares’
proprietary StaR® technology and structure-based drug design (SBDD)
capabilities enable us to engineer and develop drugs for highly
validated, yet historically undruggable or challenging GPCRs. Using this
approach, we are building an exciting pipeline of new medicines (small
molecules and biologics) with the potential to transform the treatment
of Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, cancer immune-oncology, migraine,
addiction, metabolic disease and other indications. We have partnerships
for our novel candidates and technologies with leading pharmaceutical
and biotechnology companies, including Allergan, AstraZeneca, Daiichi
Sankyo, Kymab, MorphoSys, Peptidream, Pfizer and Teva.

Heptares is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation. For
more information, please visit www.heptares.com
and www.sosei.com/en/.

HEPTARES is a registered trademark in the EU, Switzerland, US and

StaR® is a registered trademark in
the EU and Japan.

About Sosei

Sosei is a biopharmaceutical company originating from Japan but with
global presence. Sosei’s primary business model is based on identifying
novel and/or differentiated product assets or technology platforms and,
through supporting these in preclinical and clinical development and
establishing commercial partnerships, advancing new medicines to
patients worldwide. For more information about Sosei, please visit www.sosei.com/en/.


Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Mark Swallow/Pip Batty/David Dible, +44
(0)20 7638 9571
[email protected]
Malcolm Weir, +44 (0)1707 358 629
[email protected]
Group Corporation
Chris Cargill, +44 (0)7912 892 199
Head of
Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
[email protected]
Banse, +81 (0)3 5210 3399
Investor Relations and Corporate
Communications (Japan)
[email protected]


Category: BusinessWire, PRAsia

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