Septerna to Receive $47.5 Million Upfront and Additional Potential Future Payments
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Sept. 12, 2023 – Septerna, a biotechnology company discovering and advancing novel oral small molecule medicines targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), today announced that it has signed a definitive asset purchase agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: VRTX) under which Vertex has acquired an undisclosed discovery-stage GPCR program.
Under the terms of the agreement, Vertex will be responsible for continuing the research and development of the novel GPCR program. Septerna will receive a $47.5 million upfront payment and will receive additional payments upon achieving a preclinical milestone and for use of the company’s GPCR Native Complex™ Platform.
“This agreement highlights the strength of our GPCR Native Complex™ Platform to rapidly deliver high quality programs against important targets as we aim to position ourselves as leaders in the discovery of GPCR-targeted medicines. As part of a continuous portfolio optimization process, the acquisition of this program by Vertex provides additional non-dilutive funding to allow us to continue to build a multi-product GPCR-focused pipeline for a wide range of diseases,” said Jeffrey Finer, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer and co-founder of Septerna. “This transaction, in conjunction with our recent Series B financing, brings in approximately $200 million to initiate new high value programs and to drive existing programs to the clinic, with the goal of delivering medicines that improve the lives of patients.”
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest and most diverse family of cell membrane receptors, and humans have hundreds of different GPCRs, each involved in controlling specific biological functions. GPCRs on the surface of each cell bind a wide range of external signaling molecules from throughout the body, and the GPCR transmits the signal across the cell membrane to drive internal cellular mechanisms. GPCRs have been widely studied as drug targets and are the largest family of proteins targeted by approved drug products. An estimated 700 approved drugs target GPCRs, representing approximately one-third of all currently approved drugs. Despite the pharmacological success of GPCRs as a drug class to date, the large majority of potential therapeutic GPCR targets remain undrugged.
Septerna, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on advancing novel, oral small molecule medicines targeting the entire class of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The company’s Native Complex™ Platform recapitulates GPCRs with their native structure, function, and dynamics outside of the cellular environment to rapidly apply new technologies for industrial-scale drug discovery to address both validated GPCRs and many GPCRs that have been undruggable and unexploited to date. Septerna is building a pipeline of GPCR-targeted, oral small molecule drug candidates, led by its program targeting the parathyroid hormone 1 receptor (PTH1R) for the treatment of hypoparathyroidism. Septerna was launched in 2022 by scientific founders who have made groundbreaking GPCR discoveries. For more information, please visit www.septerna.com.
THRUST Strategic Communications