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The objective of the Middle Molecule IT-based Drug Discovery Laboratory (MIDL) is to accelerate the development of middle molecule drug discovery (drug discovery that utilizes peptides, nucleic acids, etc.), which is a technology expected to revolutionize future drug discovery, and to create a fast and efficient flow for middle molecule drug discovery by gathering the wisdom of Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) from a wide range of science and engineering fields such as computer science, physics, chemistry and life science across departments, with full collaboration with industries.

Specifically, we are using large-scale middle molecule simulations with supercomputers, machine learning based on large amounts of data, a proprietary artificial nucleic acid library, nucleic acid screening technology, and identification technology for unknown target molecules. While joint research with private companies is progressing, we are also participating in public research projects. In particular, through the collective efforts of our members, we were engaged in the “Program to Industrialize an Innovative Middle Molecule Drug Discovery Flow through Fusion of Computational Drug Design and Chemical Synthesis Technology” of the Program for Building Regional Innovation Ecosystems by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Tokyo Tech & Kawasaki City, from September 2017 to March 2022 ).
The MIDL was established in September of 2017 as one of the “Innovation Research Initiatives” at Tokyo Tech. Faculty members from four university organizations (School of Computing, School of Life Science and Technology, and School of Environment and Society) have teamed up for the purpose of achieving a new flow for drug discovery technologies across different organizations and fields. In addition to being open across campus boundaries, MIDL is open to various industries and other research institutes. We are anticipating active participation of people who are eager to work together on middle molecule drug discovery.

Yutaka Akiyama
Head, Middle Molecule IT-based Drug Discovery Laboratory (MIDL)
Professor, Department of Computer Science, School of Computing