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A novel anti-PD-1 agonist antibody with immunosuppressive effect discovered through joint research between Meiji Seika Pharma and the Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation at Kobe


TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan, President and Representative Director: Daikichiro Kobayashi) and the Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation at Kobe (Headquarters: Kobe, Japan, President: Tasuku Honjo, hereinafter ‘FBRI’) announce the discovery of a novel anti-PD-1 agonist monoclonal antibody, which can induce immunosuppressive effect, through their collaborative research on “Treatment of inflammatory diseases, including autoimmune diseases, through the immunosuppressive activity of PD-1” (HBI* Innovation Program) conducted at the FBRI’s Dept. of Immunology, Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation (Professor: Akio Ohta). Part of the findings from the above research was published in “Science Immunology**” issued on January 13, 2023 (Eastern Standard Time). For more information, please visit the FBRI website (URL:

Meiji Seika Pharma and FBRI are working together to develop the above PD-1 agonist monoclonal antibody as therapeutic candidate for autoimmune diseases.

PD-1 is a molecule expressed on activated lymphocytes and has the function as a suppressor of immune responses. Antibodies that inhibit the function of PD-1 (anti-PD-1 blocking antibodies) can enhance anti-tumor immunity, so that they have been applied to cancer treatment as “immune checkpoint inhibitors.”

Through the above joint research supervised by Program Director Tasuku Honjo, Nobel laureate in 2018, Meiji Seika Pharma and FBRI discovered the conditions necessary for inducing immunosuppression by stimulating the function of PD-1 with antibodies. “Anti-PD-1 agonist antibody” is expected to be applied as a novel therapeutic for inflammatory diseases such as autoimmune diseases caused by excessive immune reactions.

Meiji Seika Pharma and FBRI continue to progress the joint research on “anti-PD-1 agonist antibody” and strive to the early contribution of this antibody as a therapeutic agent for autoimmune diseases.

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*: HBI: Honjo Kobe Research Center for Biomedical Innovation

**: DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.add4947


Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd.:
Public Relations, Corporate Development Dept.

Email: pr-pharma (Please add “” to the end)

Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation at Kobe:
Public relations and Strategic planning group

Email: kbic-pr (Please add “” to the end)

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