Takeda joins drug target discovery initiative
Open Targets announced today (4 December) that Takeda has joined its pioneering public-private collaboration to transform drug discovery by improving the success rate for developing new medicines. 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 (www.targetvalidation.org) 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 launch.
Approximately 90 per cent 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.
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. 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 priorities of Open Targets.”
John Wagner, Senior Vice President and Head of Translational Research and Early Clinical at Takeda
“We believe that target identification and prioritisation can be improved, but no one entity can do it alone. 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.”
Jeff Barrett, Director of Open Targets and Group Leader at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute