Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners announce joint research in ​​CNS indications


June 29,2020- Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President: Makoto Inoue; Otsuka Pharmaceutical) and Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Fujisawa, Kanagawa, President: Yoshinori Ikeura; Axcelead) announce a collaborative drug discovery research using the Axcelead Hit-identified Target (A-HiT) project* in the area of central nervous system diseases.

Axcelead is the first comprehensive integrated drug discovery solutions provider in the pharmaceutical industry in Japan, having succeeded some portion of the drug discovery research department of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. and started its business in July 2017. Axcelead provides advisory services for research planning and problem solving, as well as integrated research services utilizing the most advanced drug discovery research platform. The A-HiT project is an asset owned by Axcelead, which consists of hit or lead compounds to deliver drug candidate compounds and an optimized evaluation system for specific drug targets. By leveraging the A-HiT project, a significant reduction of the number of drug discovery steps can be expected.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical is a total health care company that is committed to a holistic approach to health and well-being of people based on the corporate philosophy of “Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide” to create innovative products that contribute to the health of people around the world. In the medical-related business, Otsuka Pharmaceutical is engaged in research and development with the central nervous system area, cardiovascular/renal area, and oncology area as the most important areas.

The two companies will jointly conduct lead generation and lead optimization research using compounds derived from the A-HiT project for drug discovery targets related to specific diseases as a seed, aiming to rapidly expand Otsuka’s R&D pipeline.

※About A-HiT project:

The A-HiT project is an asset owned by Axcelead, which has multiple hit or lead compounds and a primary evaluation system for specific drug targets. Currently, Axcelead has about 120 target assets, and about 60% of the projects are in the drug discovery research stage beyond lead generation. Approximately 80 of these targets are novel targets with potential to be First-in-class projects. The target list also represents a wealth of opportunities for repositioned programs. Additional features include the availability of co-crystal structures in about 30% of the targets, which can be expected to accelerate compound optimization. By leveraging the A-HiT project, a significant reduction in the period of initial drug discovery steps and cost reduction can be expected.

■For inquiries regarding this matter, please contact the following.

[Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners Inc.] Sales & Marketing