Heptares Therapeutics raises $30.6 Million in series A funding

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London: The British biotech firm Heptares Therapeutics has raised 21 million pounds ($30.6 million) in the Series A round of private equity funding from Novartis and two venture capital firms.

Clarus Ventures, MVM Life Science Partners and the Novartis Option Fund -a fund created by the Swiss drug maker to seed start-up companies- contributed equally.

Heptares focuses on developing drugs targeting G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) - biological 'switches' that play an important role in many diseases.

Over the next three years, the young company plans to use the new funds to develop a pipeline of small-molecule drug candidates using its proprietary technology against GPCRs that have so far proved hard to target.

Heptares was founded in 2007 as a spin-out from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.

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