X-Chem said today it will partner with Ono Pharmaceutical to identify potential new drugs against cancer targets—the second drug-discovery collaboration announced by X-Chem in as many days.

The value of the collaboration was not disclosed.

As with the partnership with Astellas Pharma it announced yesterday, X-Chem said it would team up with Ono to discover “multiple promising, high-impact oncology targets” using X-Chem’s collection of DNA-encoded DEXTM libraries containing more than 120 billion compounds.

Ono will have the option to license identified lead compounds and will oversee further development and commercialization of any resulting programs, X-Chem said.

In return, Ono has agreed to pay X-Chem an up-front payment, as well as research and licensing fees. X-Chem is also eligible to receive additional payments tied to achieving preclinical and clinical development markers, as well as regulatory milestones.

The agreement also makes X-Chem eligible for royalties on sales of products originating from the collaboration.

“This is our third partnership with a Japanese company in the last 3 months, signaling the broad global interest of the pharma industry in X-Chem’s DEX platform for finding novel drug leads,” X-Chem CEO Rick Wagner, Ph.D., said in a statement.

X-Chem said yesterday it would work with Astellas to discover novel lead compounds for complex, hard-to-drug targets across “multiple therapeutic areas” of interest to the pharma giant.

In its first drug-discovery collaboration with a Japanese pharma, disclosed in December, X-Chem agreed to join with Taiho Pharmaceutical to discover innovative lead structures for complex drug targets in multiple undisclosed therapeutic areas with unmet medical need—a partnership that X-Chem said could generate up to $352 million plus royalties.

DEX—short for DNA-Encoded X-Chem—is designed to let users discover multiple series of novel, potent, and selective lead compounds more successfully and against a wide range of targets, based on proprietary innovations in library design, screening methodology, and bioinformatics.

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