Press Release, Osaka, Japan and Reykjavik, Iceland, 14. August, 2017.
Japanese pharmaceutical company Ono and Icelandic CRO 3Z have embarked on a collaboration to screen Ono´s compound library for ALS disease, using 3Z´s in vivo ALS zebrafish model.
The collaboration between Ono and 3Z reflects changes in drug development, as pharmaceutical companies are increasingly outsourcing research activities to private contract research organizations.
“As the complexity of pharmaceutical research has increased fundamentally, pharmaceutical companies use collaborations more and more as a strategy to stay competitive and flexible“ says Karl Ægir Karlsson, CEO of 3Z. “By using our in-house developed zebrafish disease models we can increase speed and agility in the search for molecules with specific effects on the central nervous system. The method offers high analytical capacity and more clinically relevant information resulting in a highly cost and time effective model for early stages in drug development“
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease which leads to the death of upper motorneurons projecting from the brain to the spinal cord. It leads to paralysis and fatality within 2-5 years. There is no cure for ALS. Two drugs have been approved as treatments for the disease in the past 20 years, however they have limited effects.
According to the ALS Association the annual incidence of ALS is 2 per 100.000. Thus, around 200.000 people are diagnosed with ALS each year worldwide, and about one million suffer from the disease at any given timepoint.
Ono Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Is a Japanese company with a long history of pharmaceutical development. It has over 3000 employees worldwide and an annual revenue of 2,2 billion USD (2016). Ono has active R&D within the fields of oncology, diabetes, hematotology and neurodegeneration to name a few.
3Z is an Icelandic CRO company that has developed drug screening assays using zebrafish larvae. 3Z focuses on screening compounds for CNS diseases such as Parkinson´s, Epilepsy, ALS, Insomnia, ADHD and Pain. 3Z has developed its own assays to screen for these indications.