Pharma Focus Asia

ONO and Harvard University Forge University-Wide Research Alliance Agreement

Monday, March 11, 2024

Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., headquartered in Osaka, Japan, led by President and CEO Gyo Sagara, has recently forged a strategic research alliance with Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, USA. This collaboration, spanning five years and encompassing all departments of Harvard University, aims to validate new therapeutic targets.

The partnership is part of Ono's ongoing commitment to open innovation. It invites proposals for research projects aimed at validating novel therapeutic targets in priority areas such as oncology, immunology, neurology, and specialty fields with significant unmet medical needs. These projects will be selected from various labs across Harvard University in collaboration with Harvard’s Office of Technology Development (OTD). Ono will provide funding and support for the chosen research endeavors. The goal of the alliance is to leverage the combined expertise and resources of both Ono and Harvard to advance innovative drug discovery efforts.

Ono has a strong track record of discovering and developing innovative drugs, focusing on critical areas such as oncology, immunology, neurology, and specialty fields with unmet medical needs. The company has a history of collaborating with external partners to foster open innovation and has successfully introduced several innovative medicines. Through its unique approach to drug discovery, based on open innovation principles, Ono remains dedicated to bringing new and effective treatments to patients.

Toichi Takino, Senior Executive Officer and Executive Director of Discovery & Research at Ono Pharmaceutical, expressed excitement about the collaboration, citing Harvard University's reputation for pioneering technologies and research. Takino highlighted the potential of the alliance to accelerate the validation of therapeutic targets and ultimately lead to the discovery of new drugs to address unmet medical needs.

Vivian Berlin, Executive Director at Harvard Medical School within Harvard’s Office of Technology Development, emphasized the university's commitment to advancing healthcare through partnerships like the one with Ono. Berlin sees the alliance as supporting research that will enhance our understanding and treatment of complex diseases.

Isaac Kohlberg, Senior Associate Provost and Chief Technology Development Officer at Harvard University, emphasized the mutually beneficial nature of strategic alliances, which bridge academic discovery with industrial capabilities. Kohlberg highlighted the potential of such collaborations to expedite the translation of groundbreaking discoveries into practical innovations and to enrich academic research with real-world applications.



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