ONO PHARMA USA Announces 2024 Golden Ticket Competition Now Accepting Applications from Innovative Startups

May 02, 2024

Ono Partnering with LabCentral and MBC BioLabs for Fourth Consecutive Year

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 2, 2024 – ONO PHARMA USA today announced partnerships with LabCentral in Cambridge, Mass., and MBC BioLabs in San Francisco and San Carlos, CA to award each organization one Golden Ticket for an innovative life sciences startup company. The competition is sponsored by ONO PHARMA USA’s parent company, Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Ono), and applications will be received through May 2024.

The Golden Ticket awards provide two promising early-stage R&D companies lab space and mentorship, components that are vital to the success of promising life science businesses. The competition seeks proposals from startup companies in the oncology, immunology, neurology, and specialty areas. The Golden Tickets Ono is sponsoring will provide one outstanding applicant lab space and related services at each of the partner locations, as well as mentorship from Ono’s renowned researchers and business leaders across its global network. LabCentral and MBC BioLabs have partnered with Ono since 2021. Past winners have included Transcera, a biotech based in Cambridge, Mass., that specializes in the delivery of biologics, and TippingPoint Biosciences, a San Francisco biotech dedicated to creating new approaches to treat diseases of genome packaging, such as hard-to-treat cancers.

Interested applicants may submit their non-confidential company presentations to:

Initial submissions will be accepted for each location, Cambridge, and San Francisco, and reviewed by Ono’s internal committee. Finalists for each location will be notified and invited to present to Ono in person or virtually at the end of June. Winners will be presented with the Golden Tickets shortly after that.

In 2021, Ono entered sponsorship agreements with LabCentral and MBC BioLabs, organizations that support the development of biotech startups and entrepreneurs by providing access to comprehensive laboratory facilities and technologies. Ono has long been a proponent of collaboration in R&D and credits its open innovation model for supporting key scientific breakthroughs over the years.

“As longtime believers in open innovation and the power of partnerships, we are excited to be partnering with LabCentral and MBC BioLabs to offer this Golden Ticket competition,” said Kunihiko Ito, President and CEO of ONO PHARMA USA. “We encourage companies who are doing outstanding work in Ono’s four focus areas – oncology, immunology, neurology, and specialty medicine – to apply. It’s our goal to deliver first-in-class medicines to patients who are waiting for them, by leveraging startup technology and Ono’s expertise.”


ONO PHARMA USA, established in 1998 as the U.S. subsidiary of Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., is pursuing the clinical development of new drug candidates and aiming to establish operations in the U.S., from clinical development to regulatory approval and commercialization. In addition, ONO PHARMA USA is engaged in promotion of the discovery alliances and licensing activities to expand Ono’s development pipeline and pursue the commercialization opportunities in the U.S. For more information, please visit us.ono-pharma.com.

About Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., headquartered in Osaka, is an R&D-oriented pharmaceutical company committed to creating innovative medicines in specific areas. Ono focuses its research on oncology, immunology, neurology, and specialty area with high medical needs as priority areas for discovery and development of innovative medicines. For further information, please visit the company’s website at https://www.ono-pharma.com/en.

About LabCentral

A private, non-profit institution, LabCentral is a launchpad for high potential life-sciences and biotech startups with 225,000 square feet of space across Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass., and the Harvard University campus. Founded in 2013, LabCentral offers a full complement of programming and networking to life sciences entrepreneurs in addition to fully permitted laboratory and office space for early stage and growing life sciences companies. More information is available at www.labcentral.org.

About MBC BioLabs

MBC BioLabs is dedicated to helping life-science startups succeed. By renting space as small as a single lab bench and providing these entrepreneurial scientists with access to millions of dollars of equipment, MBC BioLabs allows companies to be fast, focused, and frugal. It has four sites: two in the Mission Bay neighborhood in San Francisco and two campuses in San Carlos, California. Each site has a complete molecular biology core facility that allows companies to do experiments on day one. MBC BioLabs has partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and life-science companies as well as a built-in venture capital firm, Mission BioCapital. These partnerships provide entrepreneurs with valuable insights about where to focus their efforts and accelerates the innovation pipeline. Since opening in 2013, MBC BioLabs has helped launch and grow over 300 companies. These companies have brought over 150 programs to theclinic, produced 13 approved diagnostics, and raised over $150 billion. For more information, please visit the website at www.mbcbiolabs.com.


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