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Program to Industrialize an Innovative Middle Molecule Drug Discovery Flow through Fusion of Computational Drug Design and Chemical Synthesis Technology

(Proposed by Tokyo Institute of Technology / Kawasaki City)
Selected in FY2017 (Project period: September 2017 to March 2022)

The “Program to Industrialize an Innovative Middle Molecule Drug Discovery Flow through Fusion of Computational Drug Design and Chemical Synthesis Technology,” jointly proposed by Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Kawasaki City, was selected in July of 2017 for support from the “Program for Building Regional Innovation Ecosystems,” which was started in FY2016 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.

In the Program for Building Regional Innovation Ecosystems, a business production team is established at a regional university that is striving to contribute to regional growth, in order to incorporate human resources and technologies both inside and outside the region and to build a business model that involves local core companies. With the country and regions working together, scientific and technological innovations that utilize regional strengths will be promoted with the aim of creating new industries and businesses that will contribute to regional development with global perspectives.

The goal of this program is to develop an innovative middle molecule drug discovery business flow through the fusion of core technologies such as IT drug discovery technologies, and synthesis technologies for artificial peptides and nucleic acids by utilizing the accumulated knowledge in computer science and life science and supercomputing technology at the Institute. In addition to this program being implemented at Tokyo Tech campuses, it will be developed as a large-scale industry-academia-government collaborative project involving companies in Kawasaki City and others through the establishment of Middle Molecule IT-based Drug Discovery Laboratory (MIDL) research bases in the Research Gate Building TONOMACHI 2 of Kawasaki City’s “KING SKYFRONT” Tonomachi International Strategic Zone.

Our effort to introduce IT drug discovery technologies into middle molecule drug discovery fields are highly unique, and it is expected to become the world’s first specialized facility. In addition, by forming an innovation ecosystem that bridges the gaps between basic, fundamental research and drug discovery business through industry-government-academia collaboration with enterprises in Kawasaki City, we are aiming to greatly improve the development efficiency of middle molecule drug discovery together with Kawasaki City.

Figure 1. Program outline
Figure 2. TSUBAME 3.0
Figure 3. Cell membrane permeability simulation of a middle molecule using TSUBAME 3.0
Figure 4. Various nucleic acid modification technologies