BioFocus, the UK-based drug discovery specialist and service division of Belgium’s Galapagos, has signed a collaboration agreement with Ono Pharmaceutical, focused on identifying novel drug candidates in the field of central nervous system (CNS) disorders.

Financial details of the tie-up were not disclosed. BioFocus will use its drug discovery platform to deliver leads and clinical candidates for CNS conditions to its Japanese partner.

The arrangement is the first drug discovery programme BioFocus has conducted for Ono, noted Dr Chris Newton, senior vice president, Galapagos Services and managing director of BioFocus.

The new project plays to the division’s historic strengths while “the expanding breadth and depth of this partnership is testament to a tried and trusted relationship”, Newton said.

According to Kazuhito Kawabata, executive officer and executive director, discovery and research for Ono, the collaboration is targeting CNS disorders with significant unmet medical needs and is expected to generate innovative new therapies.  

BioFocus’s integrated drug discovery capabilities range across the therapeutic spectrum, with a strong record in neurodegenerative, inflammatory and, increasingly, rare and neglected diseases.