ThinkCyte and Axcelead DDP collaborate to advance new phenotypic drug screening methods

TOKYO and FUJISAWA, Japan, January 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — ThinkCyte and Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners (DDP) today announced a research partnership focused on developing novel approaches to screen for drug candidates for the treatment of human disease. The partnership will combine Ghost Cytometry, ThinkCyte’s AI-driven cell sorting and characterization technology, with Axcelead DDP’s phenotypic screening techniques* and its diverse compound library of more than 1.5 million drug candidates to evaluate how these compounds modify cell phenotypes (their shape and function) in the context of disease.

Phenotypic drug discovery is a powerful method used in early therapeutic developments and looks more broadly at how drug candidates affect diseased cells than conventional target-based approaches. By combining Axcelead DDP’s world-class compound library and deep expertise in phenotypic screening with Ghost Cytometry as a new high-throughput way to identify phenotypic changes in living cells without any labeling, the partnership aims to develop a novel discovery platform of phenotypic drugs that can identify compound hits that can be missed by standard drug screening approaches with bias from cell staining.

“We are very excited about the research partnership with Axcelead DDP, a leader in the field of drug discovery screening,” said Waichiro Katsuda, CEO of ThinkCyte. “By combining Axcelead DDP’s extensive drug discovery expertise and infrastructure, including its library of compounds, with our novel cell-based phenotypic screening technology, we aim to further advance the field of phenotypic drug discovery and provide a unique technology that will help find new drugs faster.”

“Through this unique research partnership with ThinkCyte, we are able to diversify our drug discovery screening capabilities and increase the potential to identify successful new compounds,” he said. Yoshinori Ikeura, CEO of Axcelead DDP. “By adopting a high-throughput approach that examines the effects of drug candidates on cells more holistically, we aim to contribute to innovative drug discovery that addresses areas of high unmet medical need.”

* Phenotypic screening: non-targeted screening to identify molecules that induce morphological and functional changes in cells.

About Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners, Inc.

Launched in July 2017Axcelead DDP is of Japan first integrated provider of drug discovery solutions, having taken over the drug discovery capabilities of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. The company provides integrated services, from drug target discovery to optimization of small- and medium-molecule drug candidates, in which the company has particular expertise. Axcelead also helps bridge the gap to clinical development.

For more information, visit

About ThinkCyte Inc.

ThinkCyte, founded in 2016 with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan And San Carlos, California is a biotechnology company that develops innovative scientific tools based on integrated and multidisciplinary technologies to enable research, diagnostics and therapeutic development in the life sciences. The company pioneered Ghost Cytometry, a proprietary label-free, AI-based cell sorting technology and partners with leading global biopharmaceutical companies and leading academic research institutions to further advance pioneering research. For more information, visit

To learn more about research partnerships or other collaborative opportunities with ThinkCyte, please contact [email protected].

Media contact:
Willem WestrePh.D
[email protected]

SOURCE ThinkCyte Inc.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *