Ono Enters a Drug Discovery Collaboration Agreement with Captor Therapeutics to Develop Small Molecule Protein Degraders for the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases

 Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Osaka, Japan; President and CEO: Gyo Sagara; “Ono”) today announced that it has entered a worldwide drug discovery collaboration agreement with Captor Therapeutics S.A. (Wrocław, Poland; CEO: Dr. Tom Shepherd; “Captor”), a leader in the development of Targeted Protein Degradation (TPD)-based drugs, to develop novel small molecule degrader drugs against a currently undrugged target of interest in neurodegenerative diseases.

 Under the terms of the agreement, Captor will identify and characterise degrader drug candidates using its OptigradeTM TPD platform. Ono will have an exclusive option to license global rights to such candidates for further development and commercialization. Ono will pay to Captor an up-front payment, R&D funding, and success-based milestone payments with a total value of up to €197 million, as well as tiered royalties based on global net sales.

 TPD is an approach using carefully designed small molecule drugs that can divert the body’s natural process for degrading proteins to eliminate specifically targeted disease-causing proteins. The selective destruction of such proteins is expected to have multiple advantages over classical drugs such as inhibitors and antibodies for the development of novel therapeutics against a broad range of diseases, including in common neurodegenerative diseases.

 “We highly appreciate Captor’s OptigradeTM TPD platform and are excited to work with them in TPD-based drugs, an emerging new therapeutic modality,” said Toichi Takino, Senior Executive Officer / Executive Director, Discovery & Research of Ono. “We hope that this new collaboration will lead to the creation of innovative drugs for patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.”

 “This global collaboration with Ono to apply our OptigradeTM TPD platform in neurodegenerative diseases is a testament to the promise of our discovery platform and the achievements of our R&D team as they advance our own degrader drug candidates towards the clinic in oncology and autoimmune diseases,” said Dr. Tom Shepherd, CEO of Captor Therapeutics. “Neurodegeneration is an area of widespread critical unmet medical need, where degrader drugs hold great potentials, and we are delighted to have a strong partner in Ono who brings the complimentary skills necessary to succeed in this therapeutic area.”

About Captor Therapeutics

 Captor Therapeutics is a drug discovery and development company applying targeted protein degradation (TPD) technology to discover and develop breakthrough drugs for diseases with significant unmet medical need. TPD is a revolutionary approach to developing new drugs that can target new molecular targets considered "undruggable" using classical drug modalities and provide additional treatment options for diseases where existing drugs do not provide optimal treatment. Captor is currently developing treatments for undertreated serious conditions, including cancer and autoimmune diseases. For more information: