Japan's Sosei Group signs $377 mln drug discovery deal with Abbvie

June 24 (Reuters) - Japan’s Sosei Group Corp will collaborate with Abbvie Inc on drug discovery in a deal worth up to $377 million, the companies said on Thursday.

Sosei shares climbed 10% in Tokyo trading, compared with a 1% slide in the broader market.

The partnership will initially focus on the discovery of novel small molecules, targeting inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, they said.

Sosei is eligible to receive up to $32 million in upfront and near-term milestone payments, along with future commercial milestones of up to $377 million, plus tiered royalties on sales.

The companies will work to discover and commercialise medicines that modulate G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets. Chicago-based AbbVie has the option to expand the collaboration to a total of four targets. (Reporting by Rocky Swift in Tokyo; Editing by Anil D’Silva)