Ono Pharma Eyes Donation to End Row with Nobelist Honjo

Society Economy

Osaka, May 23 (Jiji Press)--Ono Pharmaceutical Co. <4528> has said it is considering a donation to Kyoto University to settle a license fee dispute with Nobel laureate Tasuku Honjo, professor at the university, over cancer drug Opdivo.

The Japanese drug maker informed Honjo in November last year that it was "considering a donation to Kyoto University to contribute to the progress of basic research and cultivation of young scientists," according to a statement released Wednesday.

The company noted that it offered the donation instead of an increase in its payments to Honjo under their exclusive license agreement in 2006.

Ono Pharmaceutical commercialized the drug, based on the basic research for which Honjo shared the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with U.S. researcher James Allison.

The company had earned a total of 461 billion yen in sales from Opdivo by the end of March this year since it started selling the drug in September 2014.

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Jiji Press