TOKYO and OSAKA, October 9, 2018 - Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., “Astellas”), Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (TSE: 4508, President and CEO: Masayuki Mitsuka; "Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma" ) and Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited (TSE: 4568, President : Sunao Manabe, "Daiichi Sankyo") today announced that the three companies will commence the second public recruitment offering of "JOINUS®" (Joint Open INnovation of drUg repoSitioning), a joint research program for new disease treatments using a drug repositioning1 compound library.

Last October, the three companies launched the JOINUS® program to open a drug repositioning compound library to domestic research institutes (universities, public research institutes,and companies, etc.) and encourage collaboration with the three companies as part of open innovation. There were 35 applications for the first recruitment period, and seven were adopted with the research currently underway at each organization. As a result, the companies will now solicit applications for the second time in this fiscal year under the same framework.

JOINUS® aims to discover and develop new disease treatments using a compound that was discontinued after a clinical trial or a compound that was discontinued after a preclinical trial was conducted. Compounds contained in the library are those for which their pharmacological activities have been demonstrated and their basic safety profiles have been confirmed. Therefore, if a compound in the library is found to have a beneficial pharmacological activity in a new assay, the compound is expected to enter clinical trials in a shorter period of time as compared with general drug discovery approaches.

The three companies hope that the combination of their drug repositioning compound libraries and the original in vitro2 assessment system developed by the domestic research institutes may lead to the discovery of new drugs to treat diseases with high unmet needs.


Overview of JOINUS® Second Recruitment Offering

Eligible applicants: Researchers who belong to research institutions (e.g., universities, public research organizations, and private-sector companies including ventures) in Japan and can conduct research on the applied research themes in Japan.

Data provided: Drug-repositioning compound library generated by the 3 companies (≥50 mechanisms of action)

No research funding is provided in the JOINUS® program.

Application period: October 9, 2018 to January 8, 2019.

Selection period: January 9, 2019 to April 2, 2019.

Study Period: In principle, not more than one year from the date of conclusion of the MTA (Material Transfer Agreement) Agreement

If promising results are obtained in the research by this program, developmental joint research may be discussed with participating companies.


For more information, please visit websites of the companies. Japanese Only. (The information provided on each company’s website is the same; applications will be accepted by any of the companies.)

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