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


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."

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

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 medicines.

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 here.

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 and

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

Contact information

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

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