Astellas and Sony enter collaborative research agreement

Sony and Astellas Pharma have announced that they have entered into a collaborative research agreement in an attempt to discover a novel antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform in oncology, which will be based on Sony’s polymeric material, KIRAVIA Backbone.
The collaboration aims to develop ADCs to selectively deliver anti-cancer drugs to target cells, increasing efficacy and reducing side effects often caused by anti-cancer cells attacking normal cells.
The two companies began exploring research into new linker technology to create a new ADC platform in July 2022, however this agreement now means they will develop and optimise a new ADC platform using the KIRAVIA Backbone as a linker. Astellas will conduct non-clinical trials of development candidates, and the two companies have agreed to continue discussions on expanding their research partnerships. Katsunori Ogawa, head of the Life Science and Technology Business Unit at Sony Corporation, commented: “Sony’s life science business has accumulated substantial knowledge in the field of cell analysis. Through this collaboration, Sony is striving to contribute to the medical and drug discovery fields and provide further social value by leveraging Sony’s technological capabilities in the development of anti-cancer drugs therapy, which are expected to grow.”
Yoshitsugu Shitaka PhD, chief scientific officer at Astellas Pharma, added: “We are pleased to enter into a joint research agreement with Sony. Astellas is working to create innovative drugs from a multifaceted perspective called the Focus Area approach, which identifies combinations of biology, therapeutic modality or technology and diseases with high unmet medical needs. The partnership will further strengthen our ability to utilise suitable modalities. It is our expectation that the collaboration will lead to the continuous creation of innovative drugs for patients around the world.”