We established 2025 Vision in 2016 to become “Global Pharma Innovator with Competitive Advantage in Oncology”. Passionate global researchers are working every day using our science and technology to bring new drugs to patients who need them. Our people’s dedication to transforming science into value for patients forms everything we do from our R&D strategy to pipelines.
Our R&D Strategy “3 and Alpha”
Align with Vision 2025 and looking beyond 2025, we set “3 and Alpha” Strategy, in which R&D resources are concentrated to our leading ADCs in oncology; DS-8201, DS-1062, U3-1402, as a major pillar of our R&D activities. Oncology is a major disease known to have high morbidity and mortality rate around the world. We are taking steps forward to bring patients who still suffer in the realm of oncology the medication they need as early as possible.
We also aim to bring innovative medicines in “Alpha”, which in our terms states disease areas where patients suffer from lack of effective treatments or sufficient treatments yet to be developed in oncology and rare diseases. Due to the difficulties examining rare diseases with very few patient cases, there are many diseases with limited treatment. We must continue to pursue every possibility to give patients the options necessary to treat any disease. We believe that our science and technology hold the key to the hopes of treating these rare diseases
Acceleration of Oncology R&D
Defining oncology as a primary focus area in our R&D, we established a global oncology R&D subunit, where research functions of biologics like ADC or low-molecular-weight drugs and development functions collaboratively work together under unified strategies, enabling us to come together with expertise in respective areas while accelerating oncology R&D with quick decision makings which leads to the delivery of new cancer treatments to patients as quickly as possible.
Looking beyond 2025
Drugs include small molecules, antibodies, and other types of drug molecules, collectively called "modalities." With advances in science, a variety of modalities have allowed us to approach drug discovery targets that have been challenging to date. We have created ADC technology as our own modality after small molecule drugs. We are also conducting research on a variety of other modalities, and we are working on research and development with the aim of increasing the therapeutic potential of any treatment to patients with diseases for which no effective treatment is available until now, or those for which existing drugs do not provide sufficient efficacy.
Expansion of basic drug discovery technology by our Science & Technology
ADC technology: Antibody Drug Conjugate (Antibody Drug Complex)
An ADC is a modality in which an antibody and a drug are linked via a something called a “linker.” Daiichi Sankyo's ADC technology has achieved excellent pharmacological efficacy and safety through the high drug antibody ratio derived from its linker technology and high stability in the blood, and also through the high cancer cell death and bystander effects* of the anti-cancer drug delivered. We have been further improving our ADC technology based on our legacy foundation of science and technology with the aim of providing a next generation of ADCs that demonstrate a safe and excellent effect against diseases which have not been satisfactorily treated with currently available drugs.
*The phenomenon of affecting not only the cells at which an ADC is targeted, but also the cells surrounding it (i.e. “bystander” cells).
Nucleic acid pharmaceutical technologies (ENA) ® (2'-O, 4'-C-Ethylene-bridged Nucleic Acids) and MED-siRNA (2'-O-methyl RNA and DNA-modified small interfering RNA)
ENA® oligonucleotides, which are modified nucleic acid based on Daiichi Sankyo's proprietary technologies, possess high binding capabilities and excellent nuclease resistance to complementary DNA and RNA. Similarly, Daiichi Sankyo's proprietary MED-siRNA has a high degree of gene expression suppression activity and the additional property of being able to be produced at a relatively low cost. We aim to deliver new treatments by leveraging these nucleic acid technology platforms and combining them with future open innovation opportunities.
Cell therapy is a treatment that uses technologically-processed cells for the treatment of disease by utilizing the varied and varied functions of the cells themselves. CAR-T cells, in which a patient's own cells are gene-transfected with chimeric antigen receptors, have already been used to treat cancer, and Cardiomyocyte (iPS-CM) sheets are currently being developed as a treatment for severe heart failure. With the aim of making cell therapy a universal treatment technology in the future, we are working to establish and improve efficient cell manufacturing and advanced processing technologies while also creating new cell therapy products.
Gene therapy is the use of genes to express the desired protein and treat the disease through its effects, and is expected to be applied to various diseases that have been difficult to treat in the past. We are working on the research and development of gene therapy for rare and serious diseases by introducing a gene treatment technology from Ultragenyx, Inc. in the U.S., which uses adeno-associated viruses as the vector into cells.
mRNA technology: a novel nucleic acid delivery technology
Daiichi Sankyo is also working on vaccine development for a new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) utilizing Daiichi Sankyo's proprietary mRNA technology. Messenger RNA (mRNA) is used to express the protein of interest to target cells, thereby stimulating the production of neutralizing antibodies and/or cell-mediated immunity and reducing the proliferation of the virus. Lipid nanoparticles act as a capsule and delivers the protein to stably target cells.