Twist Bioscience has signed a drug discovery pact with Japan-based Ono Pharmaceutical for the discovery and development of new antibodies for addressing autoimmune diseases.

The US-based biotechnology company is engaged in offering synthetic DNA using its silicon platform by ‘writing’ DNA on a silicon chip. Ono Pharmaceutical, on the other hand, is a research and development (R&D)-focused company dedicated to creating innovative medicines in specific domains.

Twist Bioscience CEO and co-founder Emily Leproust said: “Ono has a strong and proven track record in developing antibody candidates in areas of need, including the development of the anti-PD-1 antibody Opdivo, which has had a tremendous impact for patients and researchers.

“This collaboration bringing together our antibody discovery expertise with Ono’s experience in drug development has the potential to lead to future breakthrough treatment options for patients with autoimmune diseases.”

According to the terms of the agreement, Twist Bioscience will carry out research tasks to discover new antibodies against targets selected by Ono Pharmaceutical by using the Twist Biopharma Solutions’ Library of Libraries.

Twist Biopharma Solutions is the biologics discovery and optimisation division of Twist Bioscience.

The Library of Libraries is said to be a sizable collection of artificially created antibody libraries. It is based on naturally occurring sequences that utilise advanced structural and developability properties to cover a variety of drug targets.

The American biotechnology company will be compensated for its research through royalties on product sales, success-based clinical and regulatory milestones, and research fees.

As part of the partnership, Ono Pharmaceutical will also make use of the Twist Biopharma Solutions team’s scientific expertise and Twist Bioscience’s premium project management services to assess new targets and create discovery campaigns.

The Japanese firm will handle the development, production, and marketing of any assets originating from the agreement.

Ono Pharmaceutical discovery and research senior executive officer / executive director Toichi Takino said: “We are actively working to create biologics like antibodies in order to address unmet medical needs for a wide range of diseases including autoimmune diseases.

“We are very pleased to collaborate with Twist at this time in the area of autoimmune diseases and are confident that their expertise in antibody discovery and their impressive collection of diverse and highly specific antibody libraries will bring us potential functional antibodies.”