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Astellas, Mitsubishi Tanabe & Daiichi to jointly conduct new drug discovery programme using drug-repositioning compound library

Thursday, October 12, 2017, 09:00 Hrs  [IST]

Astellas Pharma, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation and Daiichi Sankyo Company Limited have announced that the companies will jointly conduct a programme called “JOINUS” (Joint Open INnovation of drUg repoSitioning) to discover new therapeutic drugs using drug-repositioning compound libraries. The JOINUS programme will be carried out as a part of the companies’ open innovation activities.

In the JOINUS programme, Astellas, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, and Daiichi Sankyo have generated compound library containing compounds for which development has been terminated after implementation of clinical or preclinical studies and will offer the library as a drug-repositioning compound library to Japanese research institutions accepted to the programme for evaluation via their respective in vitro1 assays.

In general, drug repositioning is a concept of drug reutilization and is intended to find indications different from the initially targeted one, and various compounds including marketed drugs and those for which development has been terminated are examined in drug repositioning. In contrast, the JOINUS programme is intended to develop new drugs from compounds that were not marketed.

In compound libraries previously provided to academia, a wide range of compounds have been collected, including those for which pharmacological activities or safety profiles have not been established yet, in consideration of structural diversity of compounds. Conversely, compounds contained in this library are those for which their pharmacological activities have been demonstrated and their basic safety profiles have been confirmed. Therefore, if a compound in the library is found to have a beneficial pharmacological activity in a new assay, the compound is expected to enter clinical trials in a shorter period of time as compared with general drug discovery approaches.

Astellas, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, and Daiichi Sankyo hope that they will enhance the possibility of developing new therapeutic drugs by facilitating open innovation with research institutions in Japan through the use of the generated drug-repositioning compound library.


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