Pfizer Agrees to Buy 3% Stake in Sosei Group


Pfizer Inc. (PFE) has agreed to purchase a 3% stake in Sosei Group Corp (TYO: 4565). The purchase would allow the company to enter into the drug discovery collaboration industry with Sosei’s UK unit. Pfizer could then develop new medicines for a handful of biological targets that play a role in a variety of different diseases.

As part of the agreement, Pfizer will purchase $33 million in Sosei shares at 7,950 yen, or $65, per share. The offer is a 25% premium on the closing price seen on Friday.

Sosei’s UK unit, known as Heptares, may receive upwards of $189 million per target for development, research, commercial milestone and regulatory payments. Heptares also has partnerships with Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. (TYO: 4502), AstraZeneca Plc (AZN), and Merck & Co. (MRK). Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) has also announced that it will be collaborating with Heptares to research and develop new drugs for migraines.

Heptares was founded in 2007, and targets GCPR proteins using its unique StaR drug design. Using this technology, Heptares is hoping to develop more effective medicines that produce fewer side effects for a wide range of different diseases, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, migraines and cancer.

Heptares was acquired by Sosei in February 2015 in an attempt to diversify its revenue.


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