Bristol Myers Squibb Donates JPY 5.5 Billion to Kyoto University to Support Its Cancer Research


Will fund the construction of a new main building for the Center for Cancer Immunotherapy and Immunobiology

TOKYO, January 26, 2021 -- Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) today announced a charitable donation totaling JPY 5.5 billion, or approximately USD 53 million, to Kyoto University, a leading state-run research university in Japan. The donation, to be paid by Bristol-Myers Squibb K.K., will support immuno-oncology research being led by Tasuku Honjo, a Nobel laureate and Distinguished Professor of the university.

The funds will be used to finance the construction of the main building of the Center for Cancer Immunotherapy and Immunobiology, a newly established immuno-oncology research institute headed by Professor Honjo. Construction of the building, which will be named the Bristol Myers Squibb Building at the Center for Cancer Immunotherapy and Immunobiology, is scheduled to begin in 2021.

The Center for Cancer Immunotherapy and Immunobiology was established in April 2020 as a research institute within Kyoto University's Graduate School of Medicine, and is the first ever Japanese academic institute dedicated solely to immuno-oncology research. The center serves as a hub for scholars from Japan and overseas pursuing scientific advancement of immuno-oncology in search of next-generation cancer treatments.

Professor Honjo, the founding director of the center, is a Distinguished Professor of the Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study. In 2018 he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery in 1992 of the immune cell protein PD-1, which led to new therapies that have proven effective in the fight against cancer.

The Bristol Myers Squibb Building at the Center for Cancer Immunotherapy and Immunobiology will be located inside the university's downtown Kyoto campus. Based on a design by Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, it will be a five-story complex with one underground floor with a total floor area of approximately 9,500 square meters, functioning as the main facility for the center in allowing researchers, faculty members and corporations to support early-career principal investigators and enhanced industry-academia collaboration.

Professor Tasuku Honjo said, "I have been working with researchers at BMS for a very long time on the development of Opdivo and other medicines. The donation we are receiving from BMS will help us build the Bristol Myers Squibb Building at the Center for Cancer Immunotherapy and Immunobiology in the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine. It is a major milestone in industry-academia collaboration that is based on mutual trust. The collaboration between academia and industry in drug development is more important than ever and it is a great pleasure to see the decades-long friendship between BMS and Kyoto University come to fruition in this way, lighting a beacon of hope for future cancer researchers."

Jean-Christophe Barland, President and CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb K.K., said, "I am excited about the opportunity to support the world's leading immuno-oncology research being undertaken at Kyoto University under Professor Honjo's leadership. BMS is dedicated to the fight against cancer in Japan and around the world. For BMS who has been a pioneer in immuno-oncology, this financial contribution is a testament to our focus on, and commitment to, the discovery, development and delivery of innovative cancer treatments."

About Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol Myers Squibb, visit us at or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.


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Corporate Affairs, Bristol-Myers Squibb K.K.

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