Heptares Therapeutics, the leading GPCR structure-guided drug discovery and development company, achieved the first research milestone in its antibody therapeutics alliance with MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX), announced in February 2013. The milestone is based on the generation of a stabilised (StaR®) form of the first GPCR target selected by MorphoSys, a key step that will enable its use as an antigen against which novel antibodies can be produced. Heptares will receive an undisclosed payment from MorphoSys as a result of this research milestone being achieved.
Heptares' StaR platform offers a breakthrough solution to the main challenge associated with making antibodies against GPCRs: producing purified, properly folded and functional protein when removed from the cell membrane for use as an antigen. Furthermore, StaR proteins preserve biologically relevant epitopes, thereby enabling generation of diverse panels of functional antibodies.