Ono Enters into a Research Collaboration Agreement with Turbine to Identify and Validate Novel Therapeutic Targets in Oncology

 Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Osaka, Japan; President and CEO: Gyo Sagara; “Ono”) today announced that it has entered into a research collaboration agreement with Turbine (London, UK; CEO and Co-Founder: Szabolcs Nagy), a computational biology company that deploys empirically validated in silico cell simulations to guide biopharma R&D, to identify and validate novel therapeutic targets in the field of oncology.

 Under the terms of the agreement, Turbine will apply its end-to-end, interpretable cell simulation technology, the Simulated Cell™ platform, to the in silico discovery of novel targets for potential therapeutic development. Turbine will also conduct in vitro mechanism validation of identified targets in its state-of-the-art laboratory facility and manage in vivo validation studies. Ono will exclusively develop and commercialize drug candidates to the targets identified by Turbine worldwide. Ono will pay to Turbine an up-front payment, research funding, milestone payments based on the completion of target identification and validation by Turbine, as well as milestones on the progress of drug development and commercialization by Ono.

 “We appreciate Turbine’s AI-driven cell simulation platform for discovering novel therapeutic targets that cannot be identified using traditional approaches. Turbine will also provide information on the mechanisms of action and biomarkers of the target, which can accelerate drug development in Ono,” said Toichi Takino, Senior Executive Officer / Executive Director, Discovery & Research of Ono. “Through this collaboration, we are committed to expanding our oncology development pipeline and bringing new therapeutic options to cancer patients with high unmet needs.”

 “Ono has a history of developing transformative cancer therapies, including its important role in launching Opdivo® (Generic name: nivolumab), the first ever approved PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor,” said Szabolcs Nagy, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Turbine. “We believe that our cutting-edge cell simulation technology will enable the discovery of additional targets to fuel the expansion of Ono’s oncology pipeline. We are excited for the opportunity to demonstrate the combination of our Simulated Cells™ and proprietary validation assays that both enable validating computational predictions and drive the development of an ever more predictive simulation of human biology.”

About Simulated Cell™ technology

 Turbine’s Simulated Cell™ technology leverages machine learning to build an end-to-end, interpretable cell simulation platform based on protein interactome and additional omics layers. The virtual cells capture patient biology better than currently available experimental models and are used for in silico experiments having never been run in the lab, testing more drug-like effects than current high throughput genetic screening approaches. Validating the uncovered hypotheses of causality in Turbine’s state-of-the-art laboratory facility and using the resulting data as feedback further improves the model’s predictive prowess. Informing biopharma R&D through in silico experiments improves the likelihood of success for truly novel therapies and allows existing assets to be optimally targeted at responder patients.

About Turbine

 Based in London, UK, with offices in Budapest, Hungary and Cambridge, UK, Turbine was founded in 2016 by Kristof Szalay PhD, Daniel Veres MD PhD, Szabolcs Nagy and Ivan Fekete MD. The team’s vision is to overcome the limitations in developing oncology treatments with true patient benefit through combining molecular biology and artificial intelligence (AI).
 For more information, visit www.turbine.ai or follow Turbine on LinkedIn.