Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

June 13, 2022

Otsuka Enters Collaboration with xFOREST Therapeutics on RNA Structure-
Targeted Drug Discovery Covering Multiple Diseases

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Otsuka) announces that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with xFOREST Therapeutics Co., Ltd. (xFOREST) with the aim to create RNA structure-targeted drugs in multiple diseases.

xFOREST possesses FOREST technologies, a proprietary and state-of-the-art platform that integrates massively parallel biochemical-analysis systems of RNA structures and in silico analysis pipelines. Utilization of these technologies has enabled the search for highly specific RNA binders, empowering the rapid and efficient discovery of RNA-targeting drugs.

Under the terms of the agreement, xFOREST will provide Otsuka with FOREST technologies to promote systemic, small-molecule drug discovery research targeting RNA structures. Otsuka will have exclusive rights to develop and commercialize RNA-targeted small molecules identified from the collaboration. xFOREST will receive an upfront payment and is eligible to receive additional payments in accordance with achievements of development milestones, and royalties on sales of any successful commercialized products.

Toshiki Sudo, Ph.D., board member for Research and Intellectual Property at Otsuka Pharmaceutical noted, "Otsuka is committed to solving unmet medical needs by continuing to take on the challenge of developing innovative products with original ideas and technologies to contribute to the health of people around the world. We hope that this collaboration will lead to the development of new small molecule drugs that directly target RNA through the utilization of xFOREST's unique technology platform."

Shunichi Kashida Ph.D., Representative Director and CEO at xFOREST, said, "xFOREST Therapeutics has been expanding its proprietary RNA-targeted drug discovery technology centered on FOREST, a large-scale, small molecule discovery technology targeting RNA structures. We are very pleased to initiate this collaboration with Otsuka Pharmaceutical. Through this collaboration on a new disease target, we will strive to be a driving force for the development of therapeutic drugs as soon as possible."