Tokyo-based Sosei Group Corp has made further progress with its orexin program, which is being developed in conjunction with its spin-off companies Orexia Ltd and Inexia Ltd.

These spin-off companies were created by Sosei Heptares and venture capital firm Medicxi in 2019 to develop novel therapies based on positive modulators of the G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) Orexin OX1 and OX2 for neurological diseases, including narcolepsy. Orexia and Inexia are funded by Medicxi under a €40 million commitment.

Mario Alberto, Accardi PhD, CEO of Orexia and Inexia, says in a release, “We are delighted with this latest scientific breakthrough on the structure of the agonist bound orexin OX2 receptor through our work with Sosei Heptares. The level of structural detail we now have is exceptional. We are confident that this important advance, combined with the drug discovery and design capability we have assembled based around Sosei Heptares’ world-leading platform, will drive our efforts to progress highly selective and potent molecules for the treatment of neurological diseases.”

Rob Cooke, PhD, chief technology officer at Sosei Heptares, says, “We are very excited by the detailed insights into the structure of the OX2 receptor that we have generated. The power of our StaR® technology and SBDD approach in this instance has enabled us to solve the structure of OX2 to high resolution, and with that to pinpoint the binding site for small molecule agonists. These new findings, which have been delivered despite the operational challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrate the strength of the Sosei Heptares scientific team and our commitment and capacity to support Orexia and Inexia and our other partners during these challenging times.”

Orexia and Inexia are focused on developing Orexin OX1 and OX2 positive modulators and products derived therefrom, including dual OX1/OX2 agonists, targeting neurological diseases including narcolepsy. Orexia focuses on the development of oral therapies, while Inexia focuses on the development of candidates for intranasal delivery using the Optinose Exhalation Delivery System.