Takeda joins drug target discovery initiative

Takeda joins pioneering public-private drug discovery collaboration Open Targets

Takeda logo on white background
Takeda joins public-private drug target discovery initiative Open Targets. PHOTO: Takeda

Takeda is a global, research and development-driven pharmaceutical company with expertise in oncology, gastroenterology (GI) and central nervous system (CNS) disease that will complement the offerings of GSK, Biogen, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), and build on the initiative’s success.

Open Targets is a unique, precompetitive partnership between companies and not-for-profit research institutes. It was set up to systematically improve the identification and prioritisation of drug targets for safe and effective medicines. The freely available Open Targets Platform makes it easy for researchers working in many disciplines to identify and prioritise therapeutic targets for new medicines. Underscoring its utility for drug discovery, the platform features over 26,000 targets associated with more than 9,000 diseases. The resource has had over 82,000 visits since its launch.

Approximately 90 percent of compounds entering clinical trials never make it to the market. This is an extremely costly and time-consuming process, which often fails because the biological target chosen is not well understood.

Innovative medicines

To address this challenge, Open Targets combines the skills, knowledge and technologies of its partner organisations, offering a critical mass of expertise that does not exist in any single institution. Large-scale genomic experiments (Sanger Institute) and computational techniques (EMBL-EBI) developed in the public domain are blended with formal pharmaceutical R&D approaches to identify causal links between targets, pathways and diseases. This enables the partners to systematically identify drug targets, and prioritise them for further exploration.

“Takeda is committed to reverse translation using human genetics and genomics to discover and validate the next generation of targets to innovative medicines,” says John Wagner, Senior Vice President and Head of Translational Research and Early Clinical at Takeda. “The collaboration with Open Targets – using its comprehensive informatics platform and the accessibility of a vast array of latest innovative experimental platforms for rapid assessment and validation of potential targets – will accelerate Takeda’s capabilities to identify and validate human targets with robust scientific support. Takeda brings deep scientific expertise in neuroscience, GI, and oncology to the collaboration, well-aligned with the priorities of Open Targets.”

Research community

“We believe that target identification and prioritisation can be improved, but no one entity can do it alone,” says Jeff Barrett, Director of Open Targets. “Takeda’s insight, expertise and skills will enhance our ability to crack a very difficult problem – how to find the best targets for new medicines, effectively and efficiently, and share them openly with the research community.”

Open Targets covers all aspects of human health and disease. The cornerstone of the collaboration is an agreement that experimental data and information gathered within the initiative will be shared openly, to benefit the broader scientific community.

Open Targets welcomes new interest from companies and academic institutions that wish to accelerate the discovery of drug targets through open innovation.

This post was originally published on EMBL-EBI News.

Tags: bioinformatics, drug discovery, embl-ebi, gsk, industry


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