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Receptos transfers GPCR technology to Ono
February 2014
by Lloyd Dunlap  |  Email the author
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SAN DIEGO—Receptos Inc. recently announced that Osaka, Japan-based Ono Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has elected to amend and expand the existing collaboration agreement between the two companies to include transfer to Ono of the Receptos G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) technology platform, a proprietary high-resolution protein crystal structure determination technology which enables rational drug design for the GPCR therapeutic target class.
 
Under the terms of the amendment, Receptos will grant Ono a non-exclusive sublicense to intellectual property relating to the technology, including patent applications and proprietary know-how. Receptos will also assist in transferring technology to Ono, including efforts to determine a protein crystal structure solution for an additional novel GPCR that is a proprietary Ono drug discovery target. In return, Ono will make payments to Receptos, including an upfront fee and milestones relating to successful technology transfer. Remaining research and development milestones directed to an Ono proprietary target designated under the existing collaboration agreement will remain eligible for achievement.
 
Receptos is the exclusive licensee of the GPCR crystal structure determination technology platform from The Scripps Research Institute and, together with scientific founder Dr. Raymond Stevens, has a publication record that includes the identification of 21 distinct GPCR structures of 13 unique receptors over the last five years.
 
“The expansion of the Ono-Receptos collaboration highlights the continued delivery of valuable scientific expertise to our partners,” said Faheem Hasnain, president and CEO of Receptos. “Transferring our proprietary GPCR technology provides non-dilutive capital to Receptos, and demonstrates our dedication to innovation in GPCR therapeutics by enabling our strategic partners in the proprietary technology to facilitate rational drug design for this important target class.”
 
In a second move to generate capital, Receptos announced in January its intention to offer shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering. The offering is subject to market conditions and there can be no assurance as to whether or when the offering may be completed, or as to the actual size or terms of the offering, the company said in a statement. Receptos intends to use the net proceeds received from this offering to fund continued development of its product candidate RPC1063 in ongoing clinical trials for relapsing multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis, development of its in-licensed product candidate RPC4046 in a clinical trial for eosinophilic esophagitis and for general corporate purposes, including working capital.
 
Receptos’ lead program, RPC1063, is a sphingosine 1-phosphate 1 receptor (S1P1R) small-molecule modulator candidate for immune indications, including relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) and inflammatory bowel disease. The company is also developing RPC4046, an anti-interleukin-13 antibody for an allergic/immune-mediated orphan disease, eosinophilic esophagitis.
 
Receptos recently announced that the company has enrolled the first patients in the Phase 3 portion of RADIANCE, its Phase 2/3 study of RPC1063 in RMS. The announcement follows the review of interim analysis of the Phase 2 portion of the study, which was announced in December 2013.
The RADIANCE Phase 2/3 study was designed to accelerate the RMS clinical development program for RPC1063 by allowing advancement into Phase 3 in a rapid fashion and eliminating the delay that typically exists between the completion of a Phase 2 study and the initiation of a subsequent Phase 3 study. Many of the clinical trial sites involved in the Phase 2 portion of the study are also participating in the Phase 3 portion of the study, allowing for efficient enrollment of Phase 3 patients that are separate from the Phase 2 patient population.
 
In addition, Receptos has obtained a Special Protocol Assessment agreement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the clinical trial design for both the Phase 3 portion of RADIANCE as well as a second planned RMS Phase 3 study. The second Phase 3 study is planned to begin after announcement of the top-line results of the Phase 2 portion of the RADIANCE study, which is expected to occur in mid-2014.

“Our initiation of Phase 3 positions RPC1063 as the potential next-to-market sphingosine 1-phosphate 1 receptor modulator for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis,” said Hasnain. “Since the founding of Receptos in 2009, we have made rapid progress in the development of RPC1063, which we believe may represent a best-in-class molecule in the S1P1R modulator class.”
 
Code: E021407

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