Sosei Heptares and Verily Nominate First G-protein-coupled receptor Target for Therapeutic Development

Sosei Heptares and Verily Nominate First G-protein-coupled receptor Target for Therapeutic Development

  • Nomination of novel drug target based on insights generated through application of Verily’s Immune Profiler platform and Sosei Heptares’ GPCR-focused structure-based drug design expertise

Tokyo, Japan, London and Cambridge, UK, 4 October 2023 – Sosei Group Corporation ("Sosei Heptares"; TSE: 4565) and Verily, an Alphabet precision health technology company, today announced the successful validation and nomination of a first G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) target into early drug discovery for immune-mediated diseases with an initial indication focus of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

This scientific breakthrough between the companies is the first research milestone stemming from the strategic collaboration announced in 2022 that brings together the complementary capabilities of Verily's immune profiling technology and Sosei Heptares' GPCR structure-based drug design (SBDD) platform. The companies select drug targets by leveraging sophisticated computational analysis of genetic and functional genomic data and focused laboratory validation, resulting in increased confidence that identified targets have the highest relevance to human disease and significantly improved chances of clinical success.

Matt Barnes, President of Heptares Therapeutics and Head of UK R&D, commented: “Our SBDD platform has proven to be highly productive in generating pre-clinical and clinical candidates against GPCR drug targets across multiple disease areas. The accumulated knowledge we have generated around the tractability of GPCRs when combined with the unique insights gained by Verily’s Immune Profiler technology has facilitated our ability to rapidly identify, validate and nominate our first drug target together. We’re excited about this significant milestone from the collaboration and intend to progress this target into early drug discovery as well as continue to identify additional immune targets for future programs that have potential to benefit patients worldwide.”

Verily's proprietary Immune Profiler is a next generation immune mapping platform that combines high-resolution molecular phenotyping performed in Verily's labs and advanced computational analysis techniques to generate insights into immune system functions, particularly those influenced by genetic factors. Immune Profiler’s advanced analytics were deployed to identify a specific GPCR target for the treatment of IBD and have the potential to unlock new opportunities to modulate immune cell function and ameliorate disease pathology in other immune-mediated diseases.

“Eighteen months ago, we started with a blank slate and rapidly distilled our focus down to a small number of GPCR targets, based on supporting genetic and immunogenomic evidence,” states Charlie Kim, Head of Molecular Science at Verily. “Going from target concepts to novel, validated biology on such a fast timeline is an exciting demonstration of the power of the combined approaches that Sosei Heptares and Verily have brought together.”

According to the European Federation of Crohn's & Ulcerative Colitis Associations, there are 10 million people worldwide living with IBD (either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis). In the US, the prevalence of IBD increased from 2001 to 2018 and in the UK, a recent study found that cases of IBD have risen by 33% between 2006 and 2016. There is no cure for IBD, and current medications such as steroids and immunosuppressants used to slow the progression of disease have varying levels of efficacy. Surgery, which has risk of complications and consequences for quality of life, is the only other option if standard treatments fail, and is still necessary for a large portion of IBD patients.




About Verily

Verily is an Alphabet health technology company focused on research, care, and health financing to deliver on the promise of precision health and help people live healthier lives. We are uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology, data science, and healthcare to create tools to accelerate evidence generation, products to enable more personalized care, and approaches to make costs more predictable. Verily’s Immune Profiler is available for Research Use Only. For more information, please visit: or contact


About Sosei Heptares

Sosei Heptares is a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on bringing life-changing medicines based on world-class science to patients globally. Our vision is to become one of Japan’s global biopharmaceutical champions. 

Our global business combines our world-leading GPCR-targeted StaR® technology, structure-based drug design and early development capabilities in the UK with a highly experienced clinical development capability and a commercial operation in Japan.

We are leveraging these capabilities to generate and advance a broad and deep pipeline of novel medicines across multiple therapeutic areas, including neurology, immunology, gastroenterology and inflammatory diseases. We intend to develop these opportunities for patients in Japan and globally both internally and through our partnerships with global biopharmaceutical companies and emerging technology companies.

Sosei Heptares operates from key locations in Tokyo and Osaka (Japan), London and Cambridge (UK) and Seoul (South Korea).

“Sosei Heptares” is the corporate brand and trademark of Sosei Group Corporation, which is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (ticker: 4565). Sosei, Heptares, the logo and StaR® are trademarks of Sosei Group companies.


For more information, please visit

LinkedIn: @soseiheptaresco | Twitter: @soseiheptaresco | YouTube: @soseiheptaresco




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Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about the discovery, development, and commercialization of products. Various risks may cause Sosei Group Corporation’s actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including: adverse results in clinical development programs; failure to obtain patent protection for inventions; commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and commercialize products and services; difficulties or delays in obtaining regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting from development efforts; the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research and development and to expand commercialization activities; and product initiatives by competitors. As a result of these factors, prospective investors are cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statements. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Media Contact Information: 

Sosei Heptares – Media and Investor Relations

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