Astellas and Sony will jointly develop and optimise a new ADC platform using KIRAVIA Backbone as a linker, which has been developed by Sony using its organic polymer technology, cultivated in KIRAVIA Dyes


Astellas, Sony team up for ADC platform in oncology. (Credit: Vysotsky/Wikimedia)

Astellas Pharma and Sony Corporation have signed an agreement for a research collaboration to discover a novel Antibody-Drug Conjugate (ADC) platform in oncology.

Under the collaboration, Astellas and Sony will jointly develop and optimise a new ADC platform using Sony’s KIRAVIA Backbone as a linker.

Sony developed KIRAVIA Backbone using its organic polymer technology, cultivated in KIRAVIA Dyes, which is licensed to reagent manufacturers.

Furthermore, the two companies are expected to expand their research partnership to build a drug discovery platform that is not limited to ADC.

The partnership will combine Sony’s advanced technology with Astellas’ established pharmaceutical capabilities.

Sony Corporation life science and technology business unit head Katsunori Ogawa said: “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.”

ADC is a treatment modality that combines an antibody and a small molecule such as an anti-cancer drug, using a linker.

It selectively delivers anti-cancer drugs to target cells, thereby increasing efficacy and reducing side effects caused by anti-cancer drugs attacking normal cells.

The technology to create linkers, which combine antibodies and drugs, is crucial for the development of a better-performing ADC.

The current research collaboration will use the design and properties, such as high capacity and solubility of KIRAVIA Backbone to further enhance therapeutic efficacy as ADC.

In July last year, the two companies jointly initiated an exploratory research of new linker technology to create a new ADC platform, using human cancer cells.

In addition, Astellas is expected to conduct non-clinical trials of the candidates.

Astellas Pharma CScO Yoshitsugu Shitaka said: “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.”