Research & Development

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Approach for innovation

In order to continuously perform innovative drug discovery, Kyowa Hakko Kirin reap the full rewards of our unique research platform and global network and deploy innovative drug discovery research on therapeutic antibodies, small molecule drugs and nucleic acid drugs.

Technology-Driven Drug Discovery

The novel drug discovery of Kyowa Hakko Kirin is firmly supported by the exquisite experience and technologies in research, development and manufacture of biologics, and by open innovation. We endeavor to move forward with the 4 modalities consisting of therapeutic antibodies, small molecule drugs, nucleic acid drugs and regenerative medicine. This unique style of drug discovery is what we call technology-driven drug discovery.
We define modality as the classification of drug discovery technologies to realize the therapeutic concepts that we conceive of.

Next Generation Therapeutic Antibodies

The distinguished fundamental technologies of KHK are characterized by POTELLIGENT® and human-antibody producing mice (human artificial chromosome vector) technologies which we successfully established, and contribute to efficient production of therapeutic antibodies.
Making the most of our knowledge and experience in protein and antibody engineering technology as well as in control of glycosylation, we are engaged in research and development of next generation therapeutic antibodies e.g., immune-activating antibodies and tissue-homing antibodies in collaboration with external research institutes.

New Type of Small Molecule Drugs

Our approach to small molecule drug discovery involves rational drug design, i.e., structure-based drug design (SBDD) ranging from the structural analysis of disease-associated biomolecules (therapeutic target) to the design of small molecules.
In pursuit of effective process from drug target hunting and seed discovery through producing drug candidates, we utilize phenotypic assay for disease state model, chemical biology, and bio- and chemo-informatics. In addition, we have initiated research in combining chemistry and biologics.

Nucleic Acid Drugs

We are actively working on development of nucleic acid drugs which attract attention as new therapy. Unique technologies focusing on lipid nanoparticles have successfully established as a result of challenge to construction of drug delivery system that is indispensable for nucleic acid drugs. Technology research on enhancement of nucleic acid function has also been initiated at our research laboratories. We proactively challenge collaboration researches on drug target discoveries and new technologies.
Our goal through these activities is to create and deliver innovative medicines for the drug targets for which effective treatment approach cannot be established with therapeutic antibodies or low molecular drugs.

Regenerative Medicine

To broaden our major research and development areas, we embarked on the challenge to regenerative medicine as the fourth modality following small molecule drugs, therapeutic antibodies, and nucleic acid drugs. In collaboration with Center for iPS Research and Application, Kyoto University, we are engaged in development of cancer immunotherapies such as iPS-derived T-cells. Based on our knowledge and experience in genetic engineering as well as in cell cultivation, our research extends to technologies on stem cell cultivation and cell-differentiation control.

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