Iktos announces a collaboration with Ono Pharmaceuticals for the design of new drugs using artificial intelligence

Iktos, a company specializing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the design of new drugs, announced on March 30 a collaboration agreement with Ono Pharmaceuticals, a Japanese pharmaceutical company focused on R&D which focuses on the innovation of drugs dedicated to the fight against disease and pain. Ono’s research team will have direct access to Iktos’ Iktos Makya™ and Spaya™ software platforms as part of this collaboration.


Founded in 2016 by Yann Gaston-Mathé (expert in data science), Nicolas Do-Huu (PhD in AI) and Quentin Perron (PhD in chemistry), Iktos is a French start-up specializing in the development of intelligence solutions for research in chemistry, and in particular in medicinal chemistry and the discovery of new drugs.

Iktos develops a proprietary and innovative technology using deep learning generative models, which allows, from existing data, to design molecules optimized in silico on all the objectives of a molecule discovery project.

The use of Iktos technology makes it possible to achieve major productivity gains in the upstream phase of pharmaceutical R&D. Iktos offers its technology to its customers in the form of services and software, Makya™. It is also developing Spaya™, synthetic planning assistance software based on its specific artificial intelligence technology dedicated to retrosynthesis.

Ono Pharmaceuticals

The history of Ono Pharmaceuticals began more than 3 centuries ago. Indeed, it was in 1717 that Ichibei Fushimiya opened an apothecary in Dosho-machi, Osaka. Developing new drugs “Dedicated to Fighting Disease and Pain” that truly benefit patients is the philosophy of this R&D-driven pharmaceutical company committed to creating innovative drugs in specific areas. Ono focuses its research on oncology, immunology, neurology and specialty research with high medical needs as priority areas for the discovery and development of innovative drugs.

The Iktos-Ono Pharmaceuticals collaboration agreement

One of the main challenges in drug design is the rapid identification of molecules that simultaneously satisfy multiple parameters, such as potency, selectivity, safety, and project-specific properties.

As part of the agreement, Iktos will contribute its generative modeling technologies and software based on molecules and de novo structure Makya™, its AI-based retrosynthesis analysis and planning tool Spaya™. Its expertise will thus complement Ono Pharmaceuticals’ drug discovery capabilities to accelerate the identification of potential preclinical candidates and identify additional new chemical material with properties suitable for Ono’s undisclosed drug discovery programs.

For its part, Ono Pharmaceuticals will acquire exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize the small molecule compounds discovered in the collaboration. Iktos will receive research funding as well as milestone payments based on the achievement of certain milestones. Ono scientists will benefit from direct access to the Iktos Makya™ and Spaya™ software platforms as part of the collaboration.

Yann Gaston-Mathé, co-founder and CEO of Iktos, said:

“We are very pleased to collaborate with Ono, a leading pharmaceutical company based in Japan, and proud to announce our first collaboration agreement with a Japanese pharmaceutical company. Our ultimate goal is to accelerate drug discovery and save time and money for our collaborators by using Iktos’ proprietary AI platform and know-how. We are confident that together we will be able to identify promising new chemical material and solve complex multiparameter optimization problems for Ono’s drug discovery programs. We are committed to solving challenging problems alongside our collaborators where we can demonstrate value generation for new and ongoing drug discovery projects. »

Toichi Takino, Senior Manager/Executive Director, Discovery and Research at Ono, said:

“Iktos has an excellent technology and artificial intelligence platform for drug discovery. Through this drug discovery collaboration, we are excited to work with Iktos to identify and develop the next generation of innovative treatments, leading to a further expansion of our development pipeline. »

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Iktos announces a collaboration with Ono Pharmaceuticals for the design of new drugs using artificial intelligence

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