Business Development & Licensing


Vigorous Activities for Licensing Initiatives

We continue to forge ahead with licensing activities to introduce new drug candidates with the aim of introducing compounds attractive for diseases with high therapeutic need, and compounds that have high value in terms of corporate strategy and efficiency, while taking into consideration the development pipeline and existing products. Our aim is to expand the development pipeline to provide a continuous stream of new market launches.
In fiscal 2016, we signed an option agreement with IDAC Theranostics Inc., which grants us the rights for exclusive evaluation and license negotiation on IT1208, a humanized anti-CD4 antibody under development by IDAC, aiming for commercialization of medicinal products. In addition, we entered into a license agreement with Celyad (Belgium) to exclusively develop and commercialize an allogeneic CART-cell therapy, NKR-2, using the natural killer activating cell receptor NKG2D which is under development in Europe and the USA by Celyad, in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. At the same time, we are also concentrating on out-licensing activities to potential partners to bring novel drugs created in-house to patients all over the world. For example, we have out-licensed ONO-4059, a Btk inhibitor to Gilead Sciences, Inc.(U.S.) and ONO-9054, an FP/EP3 dual receptor agonist to Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. These partners have been actively developing the compounds.
In fiscal 2017, we signed a licensing agreement with Array Biopharma Inc. (U.S.) to develop and commercialize a MEK inhibitor, binimetinib and a BRAF inhibitor, encorafenib both under development by Array, in Japan and South Korea. In addition, we entered into an agreement with Seikagaku Corporation for joint development and marketing collaboration in Japan regarding SI-613, for the treatment of osteoarthritis under development by Seikagaku. (SI-613 is also under development for the treatment of enthesopathy). Meanwhile, we have further expanded our collaborative activities with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, to grant them rights to develop and commercialize ONO-4578, a selective antagonist of EP4 which is a Prostaglandin E2 receptor under development by Ono, worldwide, except Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and ASEAN countries.
Continuously promoting vigorous licensing activities, we are making steady progress in expanding development pipeline and developing our strategy for global business to deliver new drugs we develop in-house.