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Nobel laureate Honjo sues Ono Pharmaceutical over royalties from Opdivo

The Japan Times

Osaka – Nobel Prize winner Tasuku Honjo filed a damages lawsuit against Ono Pharmaceutical Co. with Osaka District Court on Friday over royalties for the immunotherapy drug Opdivo. Honjo, special professor at Kyoto University, is demanding about ¥22.6 billion in damages, claiming the drugmaker neglected its obligations to him by slashing his share of royalty income from the cancer-fighting drug. Honjo chose to take the matter to court after rejecting the drugmaker's offer in 2018 to donate up to ¥30 billion to Kyoto University. Ono Pharmaceutical obtained a patent based on Honjo's research for Opdivo. In January 2017, Ono Pharmaceutical settled a similar lawsuit against a U.S. company that resulted in a deal that calls on the U.S. firm to pay Ono Pharmaceutical about ¥70 billion plus future royalties until 2026.


Nobel winner Tasuku Honjo sees bigger role for immunotherapy in battling cancer

The Japan Times

STOCKHOLM – Japanese scientist Tasuku Honjo, who jointly won this year's Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his research on the immune system that contributed to cancer treatments, said Thursday that he believes most cancers will become treatable with immunotherapy by 2050. The 76-year-old professor and deputy director-general at the Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study spoke at a news conference at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, joined by American scientist James Allison, who shared the prize. The discovery by Honjo and Allison -- on methods to inhibit negative immune regulation -- established a new principle for cancer treatment that stimulates the inherent ability of the human immune system to unleash attacks on tumor cells, according to the Nobel Assembly. Honjo said it may become possible to contain the growth of most cancer cells through such treatment, even if cancer cannot be completely eliminated, as he discussed the effectiveness of combination therapy using drugs in the development of which he and Allison were involved. The Kyoto native and his team discovered PD-1, a protein on immune cells that operates as a brake on the immune system.


James Allison, Tasuku Honjo win Nobel for cancer research

FOX News

James Allison of the University of Texas and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University will share the 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize for 2018. Researchers from the United States and Japan won the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for discoveries that help the body marshal its cellular troops to attack invading cancers. One cancer doctor said "an untold number of lives ... have been saved by the science that they pioneered." James Allison of the University of Texas and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University will share the 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize for 2018. Their parallel work concerned proteins that act as brakes on the body's immune system.


Nobel laureates: Despite progress, 'world will never be cancer-free'

The Japan Times

STOCKHOLM – The winners of this year's Nobel Prize for Medicine say they expect substantial advances toward treating cancer in the next several decades, although it is unlikely the disease could be eradicated. James Allison of the United States and Tasuku Honjo of Japan made the assessments at a Thursday news conference ahead of receiving the 9 million-kronor ($999,000) prize. They were named winners of the prize in October for their work in immunotherapy -- activating the body's natural defense system to fight tumors. "Soon we'll get close with some cancers," Allison said, citing progress against some forms including melanoma. But, he said, "the world will never be cancer-free."


Japanese professor Tasuku Honjo wins Nobel in medicine, together with U.S. scientist, for work on cancer therapy

The Japan Times

STOCKHOLM – Japanese scientist Tasuku Honjo was awarded on Monday this year's Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, for his discovery of a protein that contributed to the development of an immunotherapeutic drug against cancer. Honjo, a 76-year-old professor at Kyoto University, won the prize with U.S. national James Allison, the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute said. Honjo opened a pathway for a new cancer treatment by discovering the PD-1 protein, which is responsible for suppressing immune response. "I'm very honored and pleased to receive the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine," Honjo told a news conference following the announcement. His method of treating cancer -- by controlling the protein's function to suppress immunity -- led to the development of Nivolumab, a drug marketed as Opdivo and used against lung cancer and melanoma.