Daiichi Sankyo, Astellas and Mitsubishi Tanabe partner to develop new therapeutics


Japan-based companies Daiichi Sankyo, Astellas Pharma and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma have collaborated to jointly carry out a programme to discover new therapeutic drugs using drug-repositioning compound libraries.

Known as Joint Open Innovation of Drug Repositioning (JOINUS), the programme will be conducted as a part of the open innovation activities of the three companies.

Originally, drug repositioning is a concept of reutilisation of medicines and is intended to identify indications different from the initially targeted one.

Several compounds, including marketed drugs and those for which development has been stopped, are evaluated in drug repositioning.

However, the JOINUS programme has been designed to develop new drugs from compounds that were not marketed.

As part of the programme, the collaborators have generated library containing compounds, for which development has been stopped after implementation of clinical or preclinical studies.

"Known as Joint Open Innovation of Drug Repositioning (JOINUS), the programme will be conducted as a part of the open innovation activities of the three companies."

The companies will offer the library as a drug-repositioning compound library to Japanese research institutions accepted to the programme for evaluation through their respective in vitro assays.

The new library will contain compounds whose pharmacological activities have been demonstrated and basic safety profiles have been confirmed.

If a compound contained in the library is found to have a beneficial pharmacological activity in a new assay, it is expected to enter clinical trials in a shorter period of time compared with general drug discovery approaches.

Through the use of the generated drug-repositioning compound library, the three companies aim to increase the possibility of discovering new therapeutic drugs by facilitating open innovation with research institutions in Japan.


Image: Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma headquarters in Osaka, Japan. Photo: courtesy of Kirakirameister.