Approach for innovation

Providing life-changing value to people, Kyowa Kirin keeps on taking on the challenge of building a platform for the creation of innovative new drugs by making full use of its proprietary antibody technologies and other diverse drug discovery technologies while utilizing the disease science we have cultivated to date.

Next Generation Therapeutic Antibodies

The distinguished fundamental technologies of Kyowa Kirin are characterized by POTELLIGENT® and human-antibody producing mice (human artificial chromosome vector) technologies which we successfully established, and contribute to efficient production of therapeutic antibodies.
Making the most of our knowledge and experience in protein and antibody engineering technology as well as in control of glycosylation, we are engaged in research and development of next generation therapeutic antibodies e.g., immune-activating antibodies and tissue-homing antibodies in collaboration with external research institutes.

New Type of Small Molecule Drugs

Our approach to small molecule drug discovery involves rational drug design, i.e., structure-based drug design (SBDD) ranging from the structural analysis of disease-associated biomolecules (therapeutic target) to the design of small molecules.
In pursuit of effective process from drug target hunting and seed discovery through producing drug candidates, we utilize phenotypic assay for disease state model, chemical biology, and bio- and chemo-informatics. In addition, we have initiated research in combining chemistry and biologics.

Nucleic Acid Drugs

Nucleic acid drug is seen with huge possibility in the future. In this area, we are working on developing technology for drug delivery systems, which is essential for nucleic acid drug, as well as technology for enhancing functions using nucleic acids. We are also actively engaged in collaborative research related to targets and new technologies with our partners.
Through these activities, we aim to create innovative new drugs especially for drug targets that are difficult to target with therapeutic antibodies or small molecule drugs.

Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine is one of our research and development areas for establishing new technologies of drug discovery. We are engaged in exploring the novel and multiplex possibilities of cells based on our technologies and experience in genetic engineering and cell analysis.

Unlocking the strength of the immune system

In our laboratories, we look for new ways to harness natural mechanisms of the body’s immune response. Our expertise in antibody discovery and development has fueled new patents, development programs, and the creation of effective medicines for patients. And it has been at the forefront of key industry advancements, including the ability to safely and reliably reproduce fully human monoclonal antibodies that precisely eliminate target cells that cause disease.

How antibodies fight disease

Antigens are the molecules that trigger an immune response, such as to bacteria and viruses. Antibodies are created by the immune system and play a key role in protecting the body from foreign pathogens. They are derived from the terminal differentiation of B cells - which then become plasma cells. Antibodies may be found on the surface of B cells (surface immunoglobulins), where they serve as antigen receptors (BCR); or they may be secreted into the extracellular space, where they can bind and neutralize their target antigens.*1,*2Antibodies also vary in how long they persist. They can be short- or long-lived, depending on origin in the body and cellular memory.*3

Antibody Structure

A single antibody molecule consists of 4 protein chains: 2 “heavy” and 2 “light". There are 5 types of heavy-chain constant regions in antibodies. Antibodies are classified into 5 isotypes (IgG, IgM, IgA, IgD, and IgE), according to the type of constant region in the heavy chains. Each isotype has its own distribution and set of functions within the body.

  • *1:
    Hoffman W, Lakkis FG, Chalasani G. B cells, antibodies, and more. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016;11(1):137–154. doi:10.2215/CJN.09430915
  • *2:
    Murphy K: Janeway’s Immunobiology. New York, NY: Garland Science, 2012. [Google Scholar]
  • *3:
    Wilmore JR, Allman D. Here, there, and anywhere? Arguments for and against the physical plasma cell survival niche. J Immunol. 2017;199(3):839–845. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1700461