Facilities, Collaborations and IP Strategy
We aim to increase our drug development success rate by using the best drug discovery approach for each target therapeutic area. That means we continually brush up to actively create and cultivate new growth drivers. In research, the Shionogi Pharmaceutical Research Center (SPRC), the center of the Shionogi Group’s research functions, has continued to serve as a platform through which we have further strengthened the coordination and productivity of our drug discovery.
Shionogi believes that drug discovery research can only be achieved by collaboration among researchers specializing in different fields. To this end, we have created an environment where researchers can launch into debate the minute they have an idea. Several key researchers committed to the design of SPRC4, in the view that inspiration borne out of casual conversation can become the driving force for tomorrow’s new drugs.
To foster proactive interaction and mutual collaboration among researchers, the basic concept is that close interdisciplinary communication with different scientific backgrounds in daily operations is the key to innovation, so the facility features various layouts designed to stimulate creativity and flexible thinking. Based on this concept, we introduced “Galleria” as an open office area, along with many communication spaces artfully located in almost every working unit to encourage researchers to interact casually. The laboratories also have a higher degree of freedom in their layout that will enable us to flexibly deal with future changes in the research environment, such as installing new equipment depending on the situation.
Shionogi is working to discover new products in-house because it aligns with our corporate policy: “Shionogi strives constantly to supply the best possible medicine to protect the health and wellbeing of the patients we serve.” To that end, we seek to continue creating new drugs that balance innovation with healthcare affordability, by investing appropriate sums in R&D and deepening collaboration with all manner of partners including the other industry, in order to expand into new modalities and acquire entirely new technologies.
From 2020, we have introduced an "autonomous research system" in which researchers have a certain amount of discretion and proceed with their own proposed research. In the autonomous research system, team formation is also left to the will of the researchers, and researchers in various specialized fields collaborate and carry out research independently. Researchers who have been in the company for 1-2 years are also active as team leaders.
Intellectual property is an extremely important business asset for pharmaceutical companies. Under Shionogi’s intellectual property strategy, we protect various innovations, such as drug compounds, applications, crystalline forms, manufacturing methods, formulations, drug discovery targets and basic research technologies. As part of drug in-licensing and out-licensing activities, we conduct due diligence with respect to intellectual property and take every possible step to prevent Shionogi’s business activities from infringing a third party’s intellectual property.
We apply for about 20 patents related to innovative pharmaceutical invention each year. In addition, by actively participating and presenting in conferences, we encourage the exchange of external researchers with the collection and transmission of the latest information. We also disclose the research results obtained from drug discovery research through the submission of papers, and strive to contribute to drug discovery throughout society.