Otsuka Pharmaceutical and biotechnology company X-Chem have signed an agreement to advance the discovery process for new Otsuka drug compounds.

Under the collaborative research agreement, X-Chem will search for novel drug leads for several Otsuka discovery targets using its DNA-encoded library (DEX) screening and informatics platform.

After signing the agreement, X-Chem received an initial research fee from Otsuka and is eligible for future payments based on achieving research and development milestones.

X-Chem will also receive royalties and sales milestones on drug compounds identified under the collaboration that receive regulatory approval.

Otsuka drug discovery executive director Toshiki Sudo said: “We are engaged in research and development of unique therapeutic drugs that are valuable to patients, particularly in disease areas related to the central nervous system, renal circulation, and in oncology.

“We hope to help create additional pathways for Otsuka to uncover candidate compounds.”

“We anticipate that our drug discovery research will be further enhanced through X-Chem’s breakthrough technology, leading to the creation of innovative pharmaceuticals.”

Providing several target proteins to X-Chem, Otsuka will carry out clinical trials on its own for any compounds identified.

Otsuka will also retain exclusive rights to commercialise any products resulting from the collaboration globally.

The collaboration will see the deployment of X-Chem’s DEX libraries containing more than 120 billion individually DNA-encoded compounds.

X-Chem president and CEO Rick Wagner said: “Utilising X-Chem’s DEX platform, we hope to help create additional pathways for Otsuka to uncover candidate compounds.”