Rewards for Opdivo Patent Too Small: Nobel Winner Honjo

Society Lifestyle

Kyoto, April 11 (Jiji Press)--Japanese scientist and Nobel winner Tasuku Honjo has called on Ono Pharmaceutical Co. <4528> to revise their contract over the firm's blockbuster cancer drug Opdivo, which was developed based on his research, saying that the rewards he has received were too small.

"Unless a fair business-academic cooperation model is created, researchers will lose motivation," Honjo told a press conference on Wednesday.

He said he is starting to think that research results would be assessed fairly overseas.

Honjo, a winner of last year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and professor at Kyoto University, and the Japanese drug maker jointly filed for a patent on Opdivo on a fifty-fifty basis in July 2003, and signed the deal on rewards and other matters in October 2006, according to his lawyer, who was present at the press conference held at the university in Kyoto, western Japan.

The contract called for the amount equal to only up to one pct of Opdivo sales to be paid to Honjo as rewards, the lawyer said. Honjo had no private lawyer at the time.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press