The prize will be jointly awarded with James Patrick Allison of MD Anderson Cancer Center. The drugs based on their work belong to a class of antibodies called checkpoint inhibitors, of which ipilimumab (brand name Yervoy), nivolumab (Opdivo) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda) are already approved. Born in 1942, Honjo studied medicine at Kyoto University, and was a post-doctoral researcher at the Carnegie Institute for Science and the National Institutes of Health. Back in Japan, he worked as an assistant at Tokyo University of Medicine and as professor at Osaka University. In 1984, he became professor at Kyoto University Medical School. From 2005, he served as Chairman of the Advanced Medical Promotion Foundation from 2015 and since 2017 as Special Professor at Kyoto University Advanced Research Institute.

Nikkei Biotech news release, October 1, 2018