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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Chugai/Omron/Omron Cynic-X begin demonstration experiment of laboratory automation system with high coexistence with humans.

Chugai, OMRON, and OMRON SCINIC-X have been engaged in joint research to realize a flexible laboratory automation system that is more flexible, versatile, and coexistent with people than existing systems in improving productivity in drug discovery research, improving the quality of experimental data, and automating research processes to realize new experimental activities. We have been engaged in joint research to realize a flexible laboratory automation system with greater flexibility, versatility, and coexistence with people than existing systems. The demonstration experiment will be conducted at Chugai's new research facility, Chugai Life Science Park Yokohama!

AI-based drug discovery and automation incorporating robotics technology

Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and OMRON Corporation (headquartered in Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto; Jyunta Tsujinaga, President and CEO; hereinafter "OMRON") and OMRON SCINIC-X Corporation (headquartered in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo; Masaki Suwa, President and CEO; hereinafter "OSX") have been working together to improve productivity in drug discovery research and the quality of experimental data, (headquartered in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo; Masaki Suwa, CEO; hereinafter "OSX") have been engaged in joint research to realize a flexible laboratory automation system that is more flexible, versatile, and coexistent with human beings than existing systems in the automation of research processes to improve productivity in drug discovery research, the quality of experimental data, and new experimental activities. The demonstration experiment will be conducted at Chugai's new research facility, Chugai Life Science Park Yokohama.

Based on the mutual sympathy for the future vision that both parties want to realize and on their mutual strengths, this joint research has been working to realize a flexible laboratory automation system that is highly coexistent with people so that researchers can conduct more creative experiments in drug discovery research. OMRON has been working to build an experiment automation system optimized for Chugai's drug discovery research by using its "Sensing & Control + Think" technology to realize the "automation that brings people to life," which is OMRON's goal for the wide variety of instruments and devices used in laboratories that have been difficult to handle with existing systems, The two companies have conducted joint research and development of a robot system that can automate experiments involving complex operations and continue drug discovery research in place of flexible and human-operated systems.

In this demonstration experiment, a robot system will be installed in Chugai Life Science Park Yokohama to establish and verify basic operations for drug discovery experiments, including transport of experimental samples and operation of equipment by a mobile robot, and operation of various experimental tools by a dual-armed robot. This lab automation system will enable drug discovery research experiments to continue even at night when no one is around, allowing people to spend more time on creative activities.

Through this demonstration experiment, Chugai will work on automation incorporating AI-based drug discovery and robotics technologies in a new research institute that will be responsible for drug discovery research, aiming to dramatically improve the productivity and quality of research. OMRON and OSX will apply the technologies realized through this joint research to accelerate the resolution of social issues through "human-intensive automation" in each of OMRON's focused domains.

Comments from the presidents of each company are as follows

Osamu Okuda, President and CEO, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co.

OMRON and OSX have been engaged in advanced joint research by combining their respective fields of expertise as partners aiming for next-generation laboratory automation utilizing robotics. The new system will further improve research productivity and efficiency by automating complex experiments that until now could only be performed by humans, and by allowing drug discovery research experiments to continue even when researchers are not available, such as during the night and on holidays. In addition, Chugai's next-generation laboratory automation aims to create an environment in which researchers can work in a highly productive manner. Chugai will steadily proceed with demonstration tests at the Chugai Life Science Park Yokohama, which will serve as a new drug discovery engine, and effectively utilize state-of-the-art robotic systems to create innovations, striving to "double R&D output" and "launch in-house global products every year" as stated in the growth strategy "TOP I 2030. We will continue to strive to double our R&D output and launch our own global products every year, as stated in our TOP I 2030 growth strategy.

Jyunta Tsujinaga, President and CEO, OMRON Corporation Comments

This joint research with Chugai is an extremely important and significant challenge for us to advance our core technology development and continue to create social needs, which is our corporate philosophy. The results of this research will bring important value to "extending healthy life expectancy" and "realizing a digital society," which are social issues that Chugai is addressing in its long-term vision SF2030. Together with Chugai, we will work to establish next-generation laboratory automation and bring new innovations to the field of drug discovery.

OSX President and CEO Masaki Suwa comments

Since its establishment in 2018, OSX has been designing the near future and backcasting from there to define research themes and engage in open innovation. This joint research was triggered by an inquiry from Chugai in response to a social communication*1 regarding research on robots that can be used universally in high-mix, low-volume production in the manufacturing industry, I am pleased to see that we have made significant progress toward social implementation. We will continue to take on the challenge of creating innovative technologies that evolve the relationship between humans and machines, with people at the center.
1:https://www.omron.com/jp/ja/news/2021/09/c0928.html(Won third place in the Product Assembly Challenge of the International Robot Competition at the World Robot Summit 2020 in Aichi, Japan, and received the "Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence Award")

About Chugai Pharmaceutical

Chugai Pharmaceutical (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan) is a research-based pharmaceutical company whose strengths lie in its unique drug discovery technology platform, including antibody engineering technology. As an important member of the Roche Group and a listed company on the prime market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Chugai is committed to the discovery of innovative drugs to meet unmet medical needs under independent management.

name of companyChugai Pharmaceutical Co.
EstablishmentMarch 8, 1943
LocationNihonbashi Mitsui Tower, 2-1-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-8324, Japan
representativeOsamu Okuda
uniform resouce locatorhttps://www.chugai-pharm.co.jp/index.html

About Omron

OMRON Corporation is a leading automation company with its unique "Sensing & Control + Think" technology at its core, and is engaged in a wide range of businesses including control equipment, electronic components, social infrastructure, healthcare, and the environment.
Founded in 1933, OMRON now employs approximately 35,000 people worldwide and provides products and services in about 120 countries and regions. In the control equipment business, OMRON contributes to the creation of a prosperous society by providing automation technologies and product lines that revolutionize manufacturing and customer support.

name of companyOmron Corporation
EstablishmentMay 1933
LocationShiokoji-dori Horikawa-higashi-iru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
representativeJyunta Tsujinaga
uniform resouce locatorhttps://www.omron.com/jp/ja/

About Omron Scin-X

OMRON SCINIC-X Corporation is a strategic base for creating OMRON's vision of "near-future design. The company employs top researchers in a wide range of cutting-edge technologies, including AI, robotics, IoT, and sensing, to create "near-future designs" that integrate business models, technology strategies, and intellectual property strategies based on technological innovation and incorporate them into specific business architectures to solve social issues. We create "near-future designs" that integrate "business models," "technology strategies," and "intellectual property strategies" based on technological innovation and incorporate them into specific business architectures to solve social issues. We also accelerate the creation of "near-future designs" through joint research with universities and external research institutions.

name of companyOmron Cynic-X Corporation
EstablishmentFebruary 1, 2018
LocationNagase Hongo Building 3F, 5-24-5 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
representativeMasaki Suwa, President and Representative Director
uniform resouce locatorhttps://www.omron.com/sinicx/
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