Innovation & Science

Otsuka's Open Innovation

Otsuka Pharmaceutical pursues R&D with the single-minded aim to discover and develop highly original drugs, exemplified by ABILIFY, REXULTI, Samsca / JINARC / JYNARQUE and DELTYBA. We strive to improve the health of patients around the world with unmet medical needs in the fields of the central nervous system (CNS) and oncology, as well as in cardio-renal and nephrology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and dermatology. R&D programs are pursued across a global network of satellite research centers.

As part of our inquisitive research culture, Otsuka Pharmaceutical also enters into "horizontal collaborations" in which we harmonize with, as equals, bioventures and academic institutions. Aligning our own drug discovery resources with external knowledge and technologies multiplies our collective capacity for pathbreaking innovation.

RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research

RIKEN and Otsuka launched the RIKEN BDR-Otsuka Pharmaceutical Collaboration Center(RBOC) at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research aiming to elucidate the mechanisms of disease based on a developmental and regenerative biology approach, and to apply this research to drug and new treatment developments.

Osaka University Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFReC)

Osaka University and Otsuka made a comprehensive collaboration agreement for advanced research in immunology between the Osaka University Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFReC) and Otsuka. This agreement allows researchers at IFReC to focus on original basic research areas and, with Otsuka, to develop innovative new treatments therefore contributing back to society with the results of their advanced immunology research.

Japan Kidney Association

The Japan Kidney Association, a nonprofit organization, and Otsuka entered into an agreement, with the aim to advance basic research by young researchers working across the field of kidney science. The Japan Kidney Association and Otsuka actively solicited drug discovery research themes from academia utilizing the Kidney Research Initiative-Japan (KRI-J). For selected research themes, Otsuka concluded joint research agreements with specific research institutions and embarked on collaborative research.


X-Chem, Inc. (X-Chem) and Otsuka signed a collaborative research agreement to advance the discovery process for new Otsuka drug compounds. X-Chem utilizes its DNA-encoded library (DEXTM) screening and informatics platform to search for novel drug leads for several Otsuka discovery targets. The DNA encoding of molecules enables screening and analysis of vast chemical space, supporting Otsuka's aim to increase success rates for the generation of target leads for new drugs and to shorten screening timelines.


PhoreMost Limited, a UK-based biopharmaceutical company, and Otsuka entered into a multi-project collaboration that focuses on the elucidation of currently undruggable disease targets. PhoreMost deploys its in-house expertise and phenotypic screening platform, SITESEEKER®, towards disease-relevant pathways nominated by Otsuka. Novel targets identified will be further validated and characterized by Otsuka as part of its internal development pipeline, with an initial focus on gene therapy applications of identified targets.

Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners

Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners Co., Ltd. (Axcelead) and Otsuka announced collaborative drug discovery research that utilizes the Axcelead Hit-identified Target (A-HiT) project in the area of central nervous system (CNS) diseases. The two companies jointly conduct lead generation and lead optimization research using candidates derived from the A-HiT project for drug discovery targets related to specific CNS diseases. The collaboration will expand Otsuka's R&D pipeline.

xFOREST Therapeutics

xFOREST Therapeutics Co., Ltd. (xFOREST) and Otsuka entered into a collaboration agreement 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. xFOREST will provide Otsuka with FOREST technologies to promote systemic, small-molecule drug discovery research targeting RNA structures.

The Northern Institute for Cancer Research (NICR) at the Univeristy of Newcastle

The Northern Institute for Cancer Research (NICR) at the Univeristy of Newcastle

Astex's collaboration with Newcastle University brings together world-leading researchers in structural and cellular biology, and medicinal chemistry with the innovative fragment-based small molecule drug discovery and development capabilities of Astex to identify and develop new cancer drugs and associated biomarkers. Astex retains the right to an exclusive worldwide licence to take projects forward into pre-clinical and clinical development.

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and The Institute of Cancer Research

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and The Institute of Cancer Research, London

Astex (UK) has entered into a number of collaborations with Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and The Institute of Cancer Research, London, to discover and develop novel drug candidates. These collaborations have combined Astex's world-renowned fragment-based drug discovery platform with the drug discovery and disease biology expertise of these leading UK-based research organisations.

Milner Therapeutics Institute

Milner Therapeutics Institute

In 2015 Astex (UK) entered into a Consortium based within the newly founded Milner Therapeutics Institute at the University of Cambridge. The Consortium brings together the research expertise of the University of Cambridge and two further Cambridge-based academic research institutes; the Babraham Institute, and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, with three UK-based pharmaceutical companies (Astex, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline) as founding members. Each company member has committed an equal amount of funding to support the Milner Therapeutics Institute and may collaborate with principle investigators from any of the three research institutes in projects aimed at developing new medicines for some of the most globally devastating diseases.

Dementia Consortium

Dementia Consortium

Astex is a member of the UK Dementia Consortium, a charity-private partnership set up between Alzheimer's Research UK, LifeArc (formerly MRC Technology) and five pharmaceutical companies. The Consortium provides drug discovery resources, project management, industry expertise and funding to support collaborative target validation of potential novel drug targets from academia and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).

Dementia Discovery Fund

Dementia Discovery Fund

Astex is a partner in the SV Health managed Dementia Discovery Fund, a venture fund set up to invest in innovation in dementia research and development and to support the next generation of drug discovery approaches for neurodegenerative disease.

Cryo-EM Consortium

Astex was instrumental in establishing the "Cambridge Pharmaceutical Cryo-EM Consortium," which is the first of its kind in Europe, and which brings together five founding pharmaceutical company members together with the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC-LMB); and the University of Cambridge. Under the Consortium FEI Company Inc. (Thermo Fisher company) provides sample preparation and data collection services on a Titan KriosTM cryo-transmission electron microscope (cryo-EM) to the Consortium members for early-stage drug discovery research. The five company members share access to the Krios microscope with colleagues from the MRC-LMB and the University of Cambridge in return for expert guidance on the use of cryo-EM technology.