Our Mission in R&D / Drug Discovery Approach

Our Mission in Research and Development

Deliver our contribution to society by developing drugs that truly benefit patients

On a mission to "contribute to society by developing pharmaceutical products that bring true benefit to patients," we are making every effort to develop original and innovative new drugs to treat incurable diseases and address the areas with high medical needs where patients are not satisfied with existing products.

Drug Discovery Strategy

Based on the drug discovery “Compound-Orient” approach focusing on characteristic bioactive lipids and unique drug targets to generate innovative new drug candidate compounds,we enhance knowledge and expertise of diseases in each of the oncology, immunology, neurology, and specialty research domains with high medical needs by focusing our resources on these domains as priority areas. To reinforce our competitiveness in drug discovery in each domain, we performed structural reform in April 2019 by adding the Research Centers of Immunology, Neurology, and Specialty Products to the already-existing Oncology Research Center. Each organization accumulates knowledge and expertise of diseases in each of the priority areas to properly understand medical needs, working toward developing breakthrough pharmaceutical products with medical impacts.
While we vigorously promote open innovation globally to adopt world-leading technologies, information, and networks, we not only pursue small molecule drug discovery on which we have focused, but also tackle the challenge of providing new treatment options with innovation to the healthcare frontline by using modalities including antibodies, nucleic acids, cells and viruses.

Drug Discovery Strategy

Open Innovation

We have promoted open innovation for more than 60 years to adopt the world's leading-edge technologies and knowledge. We globally work to accelerate the discovery of new drug candidate compounds, creating innovations through e.g. research collaborations with world top-class researchers and drug discovery alliances with biopharmaceutical companies with advanced technologies.

Disease Expertise Enhancement

In drug discovery research, we focus on four therapeutic areas -- Oncology, Immunology, Neurology, and Specialty -- as priority areas of research. Based on our drug discovery “Compound-Orient” approach, we accumulate knowledge and expertise of diseases in each of these priority areas at the Research Centers of Oncology, Immunology, Neurology, and Specialty Products, (respectively established in the priority areas), with the aim of discovering new drugs for disease treatment that is high in medical needs where patient satisfaction with current treatment is low.

ONO’s unique drug discovery “Compound-Orient” approach

Our unique drug discovery “Compound-Orient” approach provides infrastructure that supports our drug discovery prowess. Since the 1960s, we have collected a library of compounds that may act on various therapeutic targets such as lipids and enzymes. The Compound-Orient is a drug discovery approach that finds diseases against which the properties of compounds are most potentially effective. This approach, although highly risky, may lead to discovering compounds with unique pharmacological action.