Vigorous Activities for Licensing Initiatives
In addition to expanding our pipeline through our in-house research, we are also actively pursuing licensing activities with the aim of drug discovery collaboration for development of innovative products and in-licensing new candidate under development by pharmaceutical or bio-venture companies around the world including Japan. Our in-licensing efforts focus on compounds deemed to be strategic and efficient from a business perspective, and compounds deemed to be viable from the perspective of diseases with high medical needs.
Our Partners inside and outside Japan (As of October 28, 2022)
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Licensing & Co-promotion
Licensing & Co-promotion
In May 2005, Ono entered into a collaborative research agreement with Medarex Inc. (acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS)) a human anti-human PD-1 (programmed cell death-1) monoclonal antibody. The companies have created and developed nivolumab (ONO-4538/BMS-936558/MDX-1106) through the research collaboration. In September 2011, in order to accelerate the global development of Opdivo® (nivolumab), Ono and BMS entered into the agreement to grant BMS and expand its territorial rights to develop and commercialize Opdivo® globally, except Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. In July 2014, the companies further expanded their strategic collaboration agreement to jointly develop and commercialize multiple immunotherapies – as single agent and combination regimens – for patients with cancer in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. In September 2014, Ono launched Opdivo® Intravenous Infusion for the treatment of melanoma in Japan, and received additional approvals for several types of cancers,
Simultaneously, with execution of the agreement on nivolumub, Ono entered into the agreement with BMS to jointly develop and commercialize Orencia® (abatacept) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in Japan with Bristol-Myers Squibb KK, a Japanese subsidiary of BMS and launched it under the product name of Orencia® for S.C. Injection in August 2013.
In December 2005, Ono signed an agreement with Novartis Pharma AG on the co-development and commercialization of rivastigmine (ONO-2540/ENA713D) in Japan for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. It was launched in July 2011 by Ono as "Rivastach® Patch" and by Novartis Pharma KK as "Exelon® Patch" for suppression of the progression of symptoms associated with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease dementia. The product is the first transdermal patch developed using rivastigmine (oral drug) for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
In October 2006, Ono originally entered into a license agreement with Sapphire Therapeutics, Inc. (which was acquired by Helsinn Healthcare, S.A. of Switzerland) to exclusively develop and commercialize anamorelin hydrochloride (ONO-7643) in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Anamorelin is an orally active ghrelin receptor agonist. It has shown effects in increasing body weight and muscle mass, as well as appetite in patients with cancer cachexia. In January 2021, Ono received an approval of anamorelin in Japan for the treatment of cancer cachexia in malignant tumors of non-small cell lung cancer, gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer or colorectal cancer, and launched it under the product name of Adlumiz® tablets in April 2021.
In September 2010, Ono entered into a license agreement with Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (currently a subsidiary of Amgen) to exclusively develop and commercialize two proteasome inhibitors, carfilzomib (ONO-7057) and oprozomib (ONO-7058) for the treatment of any types of cancers in Japan. Carfilzomib has been launched in the US under the product name of Kyprolis® for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma since July 2012. In Japan, it was approved for the above same indication in July 2016, and launched under the product name of Kyprolis® in August 2016. In addition to the approved twice-weekly therapy in combination with dexamethasone, the additional approval of Kyprolis® once-weekly therapy in combination with dexamethasone was approved in November 2019, leading to a convenience in medication to patients.
In September 2011, Ono entered into a license agreement with KAI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (acquired by Amgen later), to exclusively develop and commercialize etelcalcetide hydrochloride (ONO-5163), a calcium sensing receptor agonist in Japan, which was under development for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis in the US. The product decreases serum calcium and phosphorus level and reduces risk of cardiovascular disorders including arteriosclerosis, by activating calcium sensing receptor which leads to suppressing excessive PTH secretion from the parathyroid. Amgen received an approval of etelcalcetide for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in adult hemodialysis patients with chronic kidney disease in EU in November 2016 and in the US in February 2017. In Japan, Ono received an approval of etelcalcetide for the indication of secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients on hemodialysis in December 2016 and launched it under the product name of Parsabiv® Intravenous Injection for Dialysis in February 2017.
In September 2011, Ono entered into a license agreement with Les Laboratoires Servier to exclusively develop and commercialize ivabradine hydrochloride (ONO-1162) in Japan. Ivabradine selectively inhibits an HCN channel, one of the ion channels which play the function of pacemaker of heart and to reduce heart rate without affecting systolic function of the heart or blood pressure. It was launched by Servier in the overseas for the treatment of stable angina in January 2006, and was approved for the additional indication of chronic heart failure (CHF) in EU in February 2012, and in the US in April 2015. In September 2019, Ono received an approval of ivabradine in Japan for the treatment of patients with CHF with sinus rhythm and baseline resting heart rate ≥75 beats per minute (limited to patients receiving standard treatment of CHF, including β-blocker), and launched it under the product name of Coralan® Tablets in November 2019.
In April 2013, Ono entered into a license agreement with BIAL to exclusively develop and commercialize opicapone (ONO-2370), a long acting COMT (Cathechol-O-Methyl Transferase) inhibitor in Japan, which has been discovered and developed by BIAL for the improvement of the end-of-dose motor fluctuations (wearing-off phenomenon) of Parkinson’s disease. Opicapone has shown a long-lasting effect on COMT inhibition in a once daily dosing in clinical studies, and is expected to improve a dosing convenience to patients. In June 2016, BIAL received an approval of opicapone in Europe as adjunct therapy to preparations of levodopa/DOPA decarboxylase inhibitors (DDCis) in patients with Parkinson’s disease and end-of-dose motor fluctuations who cannot be stabilized on those combinations, and has been marketing it under the product name of Ongentys®. In June 2020, Ono received an approval of opicapone in Japan for the improvement of the end-of-dose motor fluctuations (wearing-off phenomenon) of Parkinson's disease as an adjunctive therapy to levodopa preparations, and launched it under the product name of Ongentys® tablet in August 2020.
In December 2013, Ono entered into co-promotion agreement with AstraZeneca regarding dapagliflozin, sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT-2) inhibitor. Based on this agreement, Ono is responsible for distribution and marketing of Forxiga® (dapagliflozin) Tablets and has been co-promoting it with AstraZeneca in Japan. Forxiga® is a selective and reversible SGLT-2 inhibitor which inhibits glucose reabsorption from renal uriniferous tubule, and reduces blood glucose by releasing excess glucose in blood to urine. Forxiga® is the first SGLT-2 inhibitor approved in the world for the treatment of type 2 diabetes by working independently of insulin to improve fasting blood glucose and postprandial hyperglycemia. In May 2014, both companies launched it under the product name of Forxiga® Tablets as a once-daily oral treatment of type 2 diabetes. It was also approved for the additional indications of type-1 diabetes in March 2019, chronic heart failure being treated with standard care in November 2020, and chronic kidney disease excluding patients with end-stage renal disease or undergoing dialysis in August 2021.
In July 2019, Ono entered into an exclusive license agreement with Forty Seven, Inc. (became a wholly owned subsidiary of Gilead in April 2020) for the development, manufacture and commercialization of magrolimab (ONO-7913), their monoclonal antibody against CD47, in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and ASEAN countries. Magrolimab is a monoclonal antibody against CD47 that is designed to interfere with recognition of CD47 by the SIRPα receptor on macrophages, thus blocking the "don't eat me" signal used by cancer cells to avoid being ingested by macrophages. Ono has been conducting Phase 3 study for the treatment of TP53-mutant acute myeloid leukemia, Phase 1 study for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes, pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer in Japan. Gilead has been conducting clinical studies for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes, acute myeloid leukemia, etc. overseas.
In May 2017, Ono entered into a license agreement with Array BioPharma Inc. (became a subsidiary of Pfizer in July 2019) to exclusively develop and commercialize encorafenib (ONO-7702), a BRAF inhibitor and binimetinib (ONO-7703), a MEK inhibitor in Japan and South Korea. Braftovi® (encorafenib) and Mektovi® (binimetinib) suppress the proliferation of tumors by targeting and selectively inhibiting the key enzymes of BRAF and MEK1/MEK2, respectively, which are different kinases of a family of serine/threonine kinases in the MAPK signaling pathway (RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK) associated with melanoma and various cancers. In Japan, Ono received an approval of both products for the indication of unresectable melanoma with a BRAF mutation in January 2019, and launched Braftovi® and Mektovi® in February 2019. In November 2020, the products were approved for the treatment of unresectable advanced or recurrent BRAF-mutant colorectal cancer that has progressed after chemotherapy, in the triplet combination therapy with cetuximab, an anti-human EGFR monoclonal antibody, and Braftovi® was also approved in the doublet combination therapy with cetuximab for the colorectal cancer indication. Ono has been conducting Phase 2 study of Braftovi® in combination with Mektovi® for the treatment of thyroid cancer in Japan.
In August 2017, Ono entered into a license agreement with Seikagaku Corporation (Seikagaku) to co-develop and exclusively market SI-613 in Japan under the development by Seikagaku for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Seikagaku is an R&D-based pharmaceutical company specializing in glycoscience as an area of specialization. Since its foundation in 1947, Seikagaku has continuously focused on the possibilities of glycoscience and developed original, beneficial pharmaceutical products and medical devices in the fields of orthopedic disorders and ophthalmic diseases. ONO-5704/SI-613 (diclofenac etalhyaluronate sodium) is a formulation in which hyaluronic acid and diclofenac (anti-inflammatory drug) are chemically bound using the Seikagaku’s own proprietary technology. In March 2021, Seikagaku received an approval of the product in Japan for the treatment of Osteoarthritis (knee joint and hip joint), and Ono launched it under the product name of Joyclu ® 30mg intra-articular injection in May 2021.
Ono entered into an exclusive strategic research, development and commercialization partnership with Repare Therapeutics, Inc. (“Repare”) for development and commercialization of Repare’s small molecule Pol-theta (Polθ) inhibitor, which is now under discovery, in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and ASEAN countries. Repare is a precision oncology company pioneering synthetic lethality to develop novel therapeutics that target specific vulnerabilities of tumors in clearly defined patient populations, and is currently committed to discovering and developing a small molecule Polθ inhibitor. DNA Polymerase-theta (Polθ) is a unique, multifunctional DNA polymerase essential to repairing DNA breaks, especially in homologous recombination deficient (HRD) cells. Polθ gene expression is low in normal cells but elevated across a broad range of tumor types, including those with HRD. In this respect, a Polθ inhibitor is expected to become an effective drug across multiple tumor types.
In June 2019, Ono entered into a license agreement with Rafael Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (the company name was changed to Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in May 2022) to exclusively develop and commercialize devimistat (ONO-7912), a cancer metabolism inhibitor, and other related compounds in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and ASEAN countries. Cornerstone is a company, leading in the growing field of cancer metabolism and engaged in the development of a novel therapeutic drug for patients suffering from hard-to-treat cancers. Devimistat targets enzymes that are involved in cancer cell energy metabolism and are located in the mitochondria of cancer cells. Devimistat is designed to target the mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, a process essential to tumor cell multiplication and survival, selectively in cancer cells. Devimistat substantially increases the sensitivity of cancer cells to a diverse range of chemotherapeutic agents. With this synergic effect, devimistat is expected to be more effective with lower side effects generally observed with chemotherapy, in potential combination with low-doses of chemotherapy.
In October 2020, Ono entered into an exclusive license agreement with SK Biopharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. (SKBP) to exclusively develop and commercialize cenobamate (ONO-2017), SKBP’s anti-seizure medication, in Japan. SKBP is a global pharmaceutical company focused on the research, development and commercialization of treatments for central nervous system (CNS) disorders, and has a pipeline of eight compounds in development for the treatment of CNS disorders, including epilepsy. Cenobamate was discovered and developed by SKBP and its U.S. subsidiary, SK life science. While the precise mechanism by which cenobamate exerts its therapeutic effect is unknown, it is believed to reduce repetitive neuronal firing by inhibiting voltage-gated sodium currents. It is also a positive allosteric modulator of the γ aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) ion channel. Cenobamate has been available for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in adult patients under the brand name XCOPRI® in the U.S, since May 2020. Cenobamate was also approved in EU in March 2021. In Japan, it is in Phase 3 clinical studies for the treatment of partial-onset seizures and primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Cenobamate is expected to be a new treatment option for patients suffering from epilepsy in Japan.
In December 2020, Ono entered into an exclusive license agreement with Chordia Therapeutics Inc. (Chordia) to develop, manufacture and commercialize the Chordia’s mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma translocation protein 1 (MALT1) inhibitor, CTX-177 and its related compounds world-widely. Chordia, founded in November 2017 is a bio-venture company specialized in an oncology drug discovery and development. Chordia has been aiming to create innovative anti-cancer drugs with new mode of actions. Activation of MALT1 is reported to play an important role in malignancies of lymphocytes. CTX-177 is expected to exert anti-tumor effect against these malignancies by selectively inhibiting MALT1 activity.
In February 2021, Ono entered into an exclusive license agreement with Ribon Therapeutics, Inc. (Ribon) to develop and commercialize atamparib (ONO-7119), Ribon’s PARP7 (Poly ADP-ribose polymerase 7) inhibitor, in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and ASEAN countries. Ribon is a biotechnology company developing first-in-class therapeutic drugs targeting novel enzyme families activated under cellular stress conditions. Ribon is exploring novel areas of biology using its BEACON+ platform to develop effective treatments for patients with limited therapeutic options. Atamparib has the potential to become a novel anti-cancer drug with the dual mechanisms of suppressing tumor growth and enhancing immune response to tumor cells, by inhibiting PARP7, a molecule which plays a key role in cancer survival. Ono has been conducting Phase 1 study for the treatment of solid tumor in Japan.
In November 2004, Ono in-licensed from Merck & Co., Inc. ("Merck"), a new class of type II diabetes oral drug sitagliptin (ONO-5435/MK-0431) and a drug for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting aprepitant (ONO-7436/MK-0869).
Sitagliptin is a selective dipeptidyl-peptidase (DPP) 4 inhibitor, a drug enhancing a natural body system called the incretin system, to help regulate blood sugar, and that is a totally novel mechanism of action. In Japan, it has been co-developed with MSD K.K., Merck's Japanese subsidiary under the License Agreement between Ono and Merck and was launched in December 2009 by Ono as "GLACTIV® Tablet" and by MSD K.K. as "JANUVIA® Tablet". The drug has been commercialized by Merck as "JANUVIA® Tablet" in Europe and the US.
Aprepitant is a selective neurokinin (NK) 1 antagonist that is expected to treat chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting not only in acute phase but in delayed phase as well. It has been developed solely by Ono in Japan and was launched as "EMEND® Capsule" in December 2009. It has been commercialized in Europe and the US by Merck & Co., Inc. as "EMEND®". In addition, in December 2011 Ono newly launched "PROEMEND® Intravenous Infusion", an injectable form of a prodrug of aprepitant (an active ingredient of EMEND® Capsule). It is expected that "PROEMEND® Intravenous Infusion" will provide a new therapeutic option to the patients and medical professionals for the treatment of chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting because there are patients who are difficult to take "EMEND® Capsule" and majority of anticancer agents are administered intravenously.
In October 2013, Ono entered into a license agreement with Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC (Its company name was changed to Baush Health Companies Inc. in July 2018) to exclusively develop and commercialize Demser® (metyrosine) in Japan. Demser® inhibits tyrosine hydroxylase related to the production of catecholamine, reduces catecholamine extremely secreted from pheochromocytoma (PC), and alleviates symptoms due to catecholamine excess secretion, such as hypertension, tachycardia and arrhythmia. In January 2019, Ono received an approval of Demser® for the improvement of status of catecholamine excess secretion in patients with PC in Japan, and launched it under the product name of Demser® Capsules in February 2019.
In April 2022, Ono have signed a collaboration agreement with Domain Therapeutics S.A. (Strasbourg, France; CEO: Pascal Neuville; “Domain”) to discover novel small molecules targeting G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) in a metabolic disease area. Under the agreement, Ono will collaborate with Domain and Université de Montréal (Québec, Canada; “UdM”) utilizing the bioSens-All® technology GPCR drug discovery platform, in-licensed by Domain from UdM, and their expertise in GPCR medicinal chemistry and pharmacology to design and optimize innovative small molecules against a GPCR selected as therapeutic target by Ono, for future drug development program.
In December 2016, Ono entered into worldwide OmniAb® platform license agreement with Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
OmniAb® includes three transgenic animal platforms (OmniRat®, OmniMouse® and OmniFlic®) for producing mono- and bispecific human therapeutic antibodies. The three platforms can deliver fully human antibodies with high affinity, specificity, expression, solubility and stability. Ono has rights to use the platforms to discover fully human mono- and bispecific antibodies, and is able to develop and commercialize these antibodies worldwide.
In March 2017, Ono entered into a research and option agreement with Numab Therapeutics AG (Numab) to discover and develop a multi-specific antibody candidate in immuno-oncology. In March 2022, Ono exercised its option to enter into a development and license agreement (this Agreement) with Numab. Under this Agreement, Ono has intellectual property rights and exclusive global development and commercialization rights for a multispecific antibody targeting a novel immuno-oncology target.
Separately from the above agreement, in March 2020, Ono expanded the alliance with Numab by entering into a second research and option agreement to discover and develop a distinct multispecific antibody drug candidates, other than those covered by the 2017 Agreement for the treatment of various cancers.
Numab is an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company, and will use its proprietary drug discovery platform to create new clinical candidates for multispecific antibodies that enable the pursuit of novel therapeutic strategies. Ono will continue to promote the creation of new drug candidates by utilizing Numab's proprietary multispecific antibody production platform.
In November 2017, Ono entered into a first drug discovery collaboration agreement with Neurimmune AG (Neurimmune) to discover and develop human monoclonal antibodies against Ono’s selected therapeutic target in the field of neurodegenerative diseases. The companies are committed to creating innovative human-derived monoclonal antibodies against neurodegenerative diseases which have high medical needs, by using Neurimmune’s proprietary Reverse Translational Medicine™ (RTM™) technology platform, a unique antibody drug creation approach.
In January 2022, Ono has signed an expanded drug discovery collaboration agreement with Neurimmune to discover and develop human monoclonal antibodies against Ono’s newly selected therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases using the RTM™ technology platform.
Under the collaborations with Neurimmune, Ono retains exclusive rights for worldwide development and commercialization of antibody products resulting from the collaboration.
In December 2017, Ono entered into a collaboration agreement with Schrödinger, Inc. to revolutionizing drug discovery through advanced computational methods.
Schrödinger is a leading provider of advanced molecular simulations and enterprise software solutions and services to accelerate and increase the efficiency of drug discovery for its clients, which include all major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide, as well as leading materials science researchers. Schrödinger will work together with Ono to leverage Ono’s strength and Schrödinger’s computational drug discovery platform in the design of novel small molecules against therapeutic targets selected by Ono.
In September 2018, Ono entered into a collaboration agreement with Fate Therapeutics, Inc. (Fate) for the joint development and commercialization of off-the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) -T cell product candidates for cancer.
Fate is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of first-in-class cellular immunotherapies for cancer and immune disorders. The Company’s proprietary iPSC product platform enables mass production of off-the-shelf, engineered, homogeneous cell products that can be administered in repeated doses.
In June 2022, Ono and Fate executed an amendment to expand this drug discovery collaboration, in which an iPSC-derived CAR-NK cell therapy will be added to an iPSC-derived CAR-T cell therapy for solid tumors, as well as a second new therapeutic target for solid tumor is also added to the collaboration. Ono will provide Fate with antibodies that bind to the target, and Fate will generate iPSC-derived cell product candidates for 2 targets for the treatment of solid tumors for which Ono has an option to assume responsibilities for worldwide development and commercialization. Fate also has an option to co-develop and co-promote collaboration products in US and Europe. Fate retains all rights of manufacture of collaboration products on a global basis.
In March 2019, Ono entered into a drug discovery research collaboration agreement with twoXAR, Inc. (the company name was changed to Aria Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in May 2021) to jointly discover and develop novel, efficacious treatments to address unmet medical needs in a specific neurological disease. Aria will use its proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) technology to identify a set of lead compounds which demonstrate a novel mechanism of action and will be further optimized by Ono for potential drug candidates. Aria will also predict a set of hypotheses which suggest the efficacy and safety of such lead compounds for the therapy. Ono and Aria will select several compounds with their hypotheses from this set to test in further validation study. Ono will retain exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the compounds obtained through this collaboration throughout the world.
In March 2019, Ono entered into a strategic drug discovery alliance partnership with Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and LifeArc for cancer immunotherapy. The collaboration will identify targets for the development of both antibody and small molecule therapeutics. Boosted by investments from Ono and LifeArc, drug discovery experts will be pursuing targets within CRUK’s extensive portfolio of immuno-oncology research. And then for validated targets, LifeArc will progress antibody projects via its antibody screening and development expertise. Small molecule projects will be taken forward by CRUK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories. Ono will have option rights to license the outputs of the alliance, and take on clinical development and commercialization of successful projects with worldwide exclusive rights.
In March 2021, Ono entered into a non-exclusive license agreement with PeptiDream Inc. on PeptiDream’s proprietary automated Peptide Discovery Platform System (PDPS) technology platform. PeptiDream, founded in 2006, is a bio-pharmaceutical company committed to the discovery and development of original drugs using macrocyclic peptides. By using this automated PDPS technology platform, Ono is aiming to create high-affinity peptides to new drug targets, and develop innovative new drugs in a short period of time with high success rate.
In August 2021, Ono entered into a research collaboration agreement with Healx Limited (Healx) to jointly discover and develop novel, efficacious treatment drugs for diseases with unmet medical needs by utilizing Healx’s unique artificial intelligence (AI) technology (Healnet). Healx, founded in Cambridge, UK in 2014, is a biopharmaceutical company, pioneering the next wave of drug discovery methods through its unique AI technology, in order to bring novel therapeutic drugs to patients with rare diseases around the world. Under this collaboration, Healx will use Healnet to identify potential indications and the mechanisms of action for Ono’s proprietary assets. Ono will conduct verification studies with our compound assets for selected diseases from their technology. Ono retains exclusive rights to develop and commercialize our compounds for the indications selected through this collaboration worldwide.
In August 2021, Ono entered into a drug discovery collaboration agreement with MiraBiologics Inc. to discover and create the next generation of biopharmaceuticals. MiraBiologics, founded in July 2017, is a bio-venture company dedicated to creating next-generation multifunctional biopharmaceuticals. In this collaboration, Ono and MiraBiologics will use Mirabiorogics’ own proprietary LassoGraft Technology®, a new technology that combines cyclic peptide searching method and protein engineering and be committed to jointly generating biopharmaceutical candidates aiming for regulation of multiple therapeutic targets selected by Ono. Ono obtains exclusive rights to develop and commercialize biopharmaceutical drug candidates worldwide generated using their technology through the collaboration.
In March 2022, Ono entered into a collaboration agreement with Iktos to discover and develop a novel small molecule compounds using Iktos’s unique artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery technology.
Incorporated in October 2016, Iktos is a start-up company specializing in the development of AI solutions applied to chemical research, more specifically medicinal chemistry and new drug design. Under the agreement, Iktos will apply its AI technology platform and know-how, helping to bring new insights and directions into the drug discovery process based on a comprehensive data-driven chemical structure generation technology complementing Ono’s drug discovery program to expedite the identification of novel small molecules against therapeutic targets selected by Ono. Ono has exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize small molecule compounds discovered in the collaboration.
In April 2022, Ono have signed a collaboration agreement with Domain Therapeutics S.A. (Strasbourg, France; CEO: Pascal Neuville; “Domain”) and Université de Montréal (Québec, Canada; “UdM”), to discover novel small molecules targeting G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) in a metabolic disease area. Under the agreement, Ono will collaborate with Domain and UdM utilizing the bioSens-All® technology GPCR drug discovery platform, in-licensed by Domain from UdM, and their expertise in GPCR medicinal chemistry and pharmacology to design and optimize innovative small molecules against a GPCR selected as therapeutic target by Ono, for future drug development program.
In August 2022, ONO entered into an agreement to expand the research collaboration aiming to build a data-driven new drug discovery platform using Knowledge Palette’s large-scale transcriptome analysis technology. The entire picture of gene expression patterns in human cells treated with various compounds and in those given perturbations such as gene functional inhibition will be compiled into a database using Knowledge Palette's large-scale transcriptome analysis technology. Using the database leveraging with informatics approach, comprehensive cellular data will be analyzed to reveal numerous molecular mechanisms for hypothetical novel drug discovery targets, which leads to develop a platform of data driven drug discovery.
Since April 2014, Ono has been in collaboration with Merus N.V. (“Merus”) for generation of new bi-specific antibody therapeutics, and ONO-4685, a bi-specific antibody obtained through this collaboration is now in clinical development. Additionally Ono entered into another collaboration with Merus in March 2018 to generate a new bi-specific antibody binding different combination of therapeutic targets from that of the 2014 agreement.
A bi-specific antibody has an ability to bind to two different targets simultaneously. Merus will generate bi-specific antibodies called Biclonics® that bind certain target molecules selected by Ono using Merus’ proprietary Biclonics® technology platform. Ono will further evaluate biological activities and safety profiles of selected antibodies with the goal of generating new drug candidates in the area of autoimmune disease. Ono will have worldwide exclusive rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize the resulting products developed through the collaboration.
In November 2015, Ono entered into a drug discovery collaboration agreement with Vanderbilt University to discover novel, efficacious therapeutic drugs for diseases with unmet medical needs. Under the agreement, Ono and Vanderbilt University have been engaged in jointly identifying compounds to validate if an under-explored family of ion channels or transporters has a potential for a therapeutic target, and based on the validation, will discover clinical candidates for the treatment of CNS disorders.