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Research Collaborations, In-licenses and Acquisitions

Research Collaboration

Targeting the continual creation of new drugs, we are promoting research collaborations with various parties inside and outside Japan, including universities, research institutions and venture companies possessing innovative technologies.

Toward positive strategic Investment on Alliance and Licensing

We are collecting information in various forms including investment into "DEFTA Healthcare Technologies, L.P." in addition to a bio-venture fund "Apposite Healthcare Fund, L.P." and "Remiges BioPharma Fund, L.P."

Investment destination Investment fields
Apposite Healthcare Fund, L.P. Life sciences, healthcare services
Remiges BioPharma Fund, L.P. Pharmaceuticals research and development and other life sciences
DEFTA Healthcare Technologies, L.P. Leading-edge medical treatments and regenerative medicine, next-generation medical devices, and healthcare IoT/ICT
MPM Oncology Innovations Fund Academia and growing early-stage companies that are developing new drug candidate compounds in the oncology area
Kicker Ventures I, L.P. Early-stage companies that seek business opportunities primarily in the U.S., Canada, and Japan by harnessing digital healthcare technologies such as digital therapy, smart devices, data analysis and artificial intelligence (AI), personalized medicine, and cutting-edge therapeutic devices and pharmaceutical products

Major External Collaboration

The Kitasato Institute: Joint Drug Discovery Research for AMR "KS-Project"

Sumitomo Pharma is conducting joint research with a drug discovery group led by Dr. Satoshi Omura, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Kitasato University and the 2015 laureate of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, with the aim of discovering new drugs against infections caused by bacteria with antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This joint R&D initiative was selected by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) for its Cyclic Innovation for Clinical Empowerment (CiCLE) grant program.

The Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA)

  • This joint research collaboration between industry and academia, focusing on a rare intractable disease caused by genetic mutation, aims to use induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) to identify the pathognomonic mechanism of the disease, identify the most disease-specific target molecule from various pathological changes of signal transduction, and screen specific inhibitors against the signal pathway. As a result, the aim is to create an epoch-making treatment to suppress detrimental conditions in patients.
  • CiRA and Sumitomo Pharma are conducting joint research and development to establish the world's first Parkinson's disease treatment using allogeneic iPS cell-derived dopaminergic neural progenitor cells.

The Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) and Hitachi Ltd.

CiRA, Hitachi Ltd., and Sumitomo Pharma are jointly developing the base technology and evaluation methods to establish a production process for dopaminergic neural progenitor cells. This will be used to develop the world's first Parkinson's disease treatment using allogeneic iPS cell-derived dopaminergic neural progenitor cells. These endeavors are part of the "Project Focused on Developing Key Evaluation Technology: Evaluation for Industrialization in the Field of Regenerative Medicine" commissioned by The Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).

Healios K.K.

Healios K.K. and Sumitomo Pharma are conducting joint development in Japan of iPS cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE cells) for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration and other eye diseases.

Keio University and National Hospital Organization Osaka National Hospital

Under the Research Center Network for Realization of Regenerative Medicine, a joint initiative between government, industry and academia, Sumitomo Pharma, together with the National Hospital Organization Osaka National Hospital, is taking part as a contributing organization in the Keio University (Professor Hideyuki Okano) project on "Regenerative medicine for spinal cord injury and stroke using iPS cell-derived neural progenitor cells." The goal of the project is to develop a treatment for the transplantation of iPS cell-derived neural progenitor cells for spinal cord injury.


In basic research, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. in partnership with RIKEN has succeeded in generating a three-dimensional retina from human embryonic stem cells, a world first. Following on from this, Sumitomo Pharma aims to create a treatment available using an allogeneic iPS cell-derived three-dimensional retina.

The Jikei University School of Medicine and Bios

The two partners and Sumitomo Pharma are working on joint research and development with the goal of developing renal regenerative medicine using iPS cell-based organogenic niche method, and to achieve its commercialization by fiscal 2027.

Carna Biosciences, Inc.

Carna Bioscience and Sumitomo Pharma are conducting joint research with a view toward discovering novel kinase inhibitors indicated for psychiatric and neurological disorders by combining accumulated Carna Biosciences's know-how on kinase inhibitor discovery with Sumitomo Pharma's know-how on drug discovery research in the area of neuroscience.

Colombia University, Harvard University, The Wistar Institute

The three institutions and Sumitomo Pharma are collaborating discover novel targets and platform technologies for cancer drugs.

Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV)

MMV and Sumitomo Pharma are conducting joint research aimed at identifying antimalarial candidate compounds. The Joint Research has been awarded funding from the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund).

Ehime University

Sumitomo Pharma is conducting joint research and development with Ehime University, etc. on new malaria vaccines (Malaria disease prevention vaccine, Malaria transmission-blocking vaccine, Pre-erythrocytic malaria vaccine)

NIBIOHN (National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition)

NIBIOHN and Sumitomo Pharma are conducting joint research for a universal influenza vaccine that provides broader protection against most influenza.

Aikomi and Sompo Japan Insurance

Sumitomo Pharma, Aikomi, and Sompo Japan are collaborating on the research and development and commercialization of digital devices to support caring for people with dementia including both non-medical nursing care applications (non-medical devices) and medical applications.


Sumitomo Pharma invested in MELTIN MMI and is conducting joint research and development and commercialization of medical devices, etc. through utilizing MELTIN's bio-signal processing and robotic technologies, as part of our efforts to pioneer frontier areas.


Sunovion and BehaVR are conducting joint development of a general wellness product that uses virtual reality (VR) to assist in the management of social anxiety disorder.

NeuroSky Co., Ltd.

Sumitomo Pharma and NeuroSky Co., Ltd. are conducting joint development and commercialization of simple wearable EEG meter for early detection of mental diseases.

Pixie Dust Technologies, Inc.

Sumitomo Pharma and Pixie Dust Technologies, Inc. are conducting joint development and commercialization of a new communication support tool for hard of hearing people.

Drawbrige Health

Sumitomo Pharma and Drawbrige Health are conducting joint development for diagnosis and management solutions for diabetes, etc.

Tsubota Laboratory, Inc.

Sumitomo Pharma and Tsubota Laboratory, Inc. are conducting joint research and development of violet light to treat/prevent dementia and depression.

i2medical LLC and Keio University

Sumitomo Pharma, i2medical LLC, and Keio University are collaborating to develop software for early detection and severity assessment of depression.

Promoting Strategic Investment to Acquire Companies and In-license Development Products

From the viewpoint of expanding the development pipeline, we are actively promoting strategic investment to acquire companies and in-license development products. In relation to in-licensing, we consider a wide variety of late development stage products as a priority with a focus on Psychiatry & Neurology, Oncology and Rare diseases areas.

Major recent acquisitions
(Development products are the situation at the time of acquisitions)

Company acquired Date acquired Major development products
Product code Development stage Development location Proposed indication
Enzyvant Therapeutics Ltd. (U.S.) December 2019 RVT-802 BLA submitted in April 2019
Received Complete Response Letter in December 2019
U.S. Pediatric congenital athymia
RVT-801 Preclinical U.S. Farber disease
Urovant Sciences Ltd. (U.S.) vibegron
(Generic name)
NDA submitted in December 2019 U.S. Overactive bladder
Phase3 U.S. Overactive bladder in men with Benign prostatic hyperplasia
Phase2 U.S. IBS-associated pain
URO-902 Phase2 U.S. Overactive bladder
Myovant Sciences Ltd. (U.S.) relugolix
(Generic name)
Phase3 U.S. Uterine fibroids
Phase3 U.S. Endometriosis
Phase3 U.S. Prostate cancer
MVT-602 Phase2 Germany Female infertility
Altavant Sciences Ltd. (U.S.) rodatristat ethyl
(Generic name)
Phase2 U.S. Pulmonary arterial hypertension
Spirovant Sciences Ltd. (U.S.) SPIRO-2101 Preclinical U.S. Cystic fibrosis
SPIRO-2102 Preclinical U.S. Cystic fibrosis
Tolero Pharmaceutical, Inc.
(currently Sumitomo Pharma Oncology, Inc.)
January 2017 alvocidib (Generic name) Phase 2 U.S./
TP-0903 Phase 1 U.S. Cancer
TP-1287 Preclinical U.S.
TP-0184 Preclinical U.S.
Cynapsus Therapeutics Inc.
(currently Sunovion CNS Development Canada ULC)
October 2016 APL-130277 Phase 3 U.S. OFF episodes associated with Parkinson's disease

Major recent in-licensed products
(Development stage etc. are the situation at the time of in-licenses)

Brand name/
Generic name/
Product code
Date of
Territory (under contract)
Agalsidase Beta BS Fabry disease JCR Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. (Japan) March 2022 approved Japan
lefamulin Bacterial community
-acquired pneumonia
Sinovant Sciences HK Limited (China) June 2021 completed Phase 3 China
Type 2 diabetes Novartis Pharma K.K. (Japan) May 2019 approved Japan
EFFEXOR® Depression / Depressed state Pfizer Japan Inc. (Japan) March 2018 approved Japan
imeglimin Type 2 diabetes Poxel SA
October 2017 completed Phase 2 Japan, China,
11 Asian countries
Trulicity® Type 2 diabetes Eli Lilly Japan K.K. (Japan) July 2015 approved Japan
REMITCH® Pruritus in chronic liver disease patients Torii Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Japan) May 2015 approved Japan
EPI-589 Neuro
(Acquired from
preclinical Japan