Collaboration Opportunities with Ono Pharmaceutical in Non-clinical Stage or Late Stage of Drug Discovery Programs

Ono Pharmaceutical (Ono) is a medium-sized, R&D-oriented Japanese pharmaceutical company which first developed and launched Opdivo, a first in class PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor.

Ono focuses its research on the oncology, immunology, neurology and specialty research with high medical needs as priority areas for discovery and development of innovative drugs. Ono is looking for partnering opportunities with venture or biotech companies who have non-clinical stage or late stage of drug discovery program.

The Department for International Trade in Japan (DIT Japan) held an online seminar together with Ono Pharmaceutical and One Nucleus to enable you to learn about Ono’s research priorities and collaboration opportunities.

Core interest areas are:



  • Mechanism of primary or acquired resistance to ICI (immune checkpoint inhibitors)
  • Activation of innate immunity

Next generation targeted therapy

  • Tumour intrinsic vulnerability in specific patient population
  • Synthetic lethality mechanism


  • New modality to overcome current treatment difficulties (Cell therapy, Oncolytic virus, Modified antibody etc) 
  • Advanced small molecule approach against undruggable targets
  • Tumour targeting drug delivery


Therapeutic areas

  • Autoimmune diseases 
  • Oncology (immunomodulation) 
  • Allergy

Focused Biology

  • Acquired immunity 
  • Innate immunity 
  • Multispecific molecules 


Therapeutic areas

  • Neurodegeneration: Alzheimer Disease, Parkinson Disease, ALS, Multiple System Atrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke    etc. 
  • Psychiatry: Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, Sleep Disorder    etc.
  • Pain: Nerve Injury, Diabetic Neuropathy, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis    etc.

Focused Biology

  • Glial cell biology
  • Neuro inflammation 

Areas of interest

  • Glial Cell Biology
  • New findings in Neuro-Glial Cell Biology 
  • Glial Cell Modulation by Opto/Chemogenetic Approach

Novel Molecular Targets

  • Target Identification via CRISPR/Cas screening 
  • Pharmacological/Biological/Genetic Validation of Novel Molecular Targets
  • Epigenetics/Epitranscriptomics Novel Molecular Targets

New Technologies

  • Small Molecule Protein/Others Degradation Technology in CNS
  • Combination Patients’ Brain Imaging & Genetics
  • Patient-derived iPSC / Novel Applications
  • Prediction of Clinical Efficacy in 3D Organoids
  • Human Glial Cell Xenograft Models
  • Delivery Technology into Brain 


Areas of interest

  • Age-related disorders:Cellular Senescence
  • Senomorphic/Senolysis/Rejuvenation/SASP 


  • Effective new concepts in non-responder 
  • Replaceable new concepts to the first-line treatment 


  • Fibrolysis concepts as curative treatments 

Tissue regeneration 

  • Manipulation by small molecules or biologics