Theme06: Drug Discovery Platform Technology

Our mission is to incorporate the latest technologies into drug discovery research through open innovation, and to bring them to fruition in the new drugs.

Pharmaceuticals Research Center
Laboratory for Drug discovery, Laboratory for CMC

Creating for Tomorrow


“ Drug formulation, DDS, research tools,
analysis methods and organic synthesis for drug discovery ”

Recruitment theme 

Drug Discovery Platform Technology

6-1 Drug formulation and drug delivery system (DDS)
6-1-1 DDS technology for central delivery of antibodies, proteins, and peptides

Research interests:

  • Research to enable delivery to the central nervous system by DDS technology without changes to the antibody or peptide itself
  • Research to enable local delivery to the central nervous system by means such as intranasal administration

Untargeted research:

  • Technology that requires screening of antibodies and peptides
  • Technology to change the sequence or composition of antibodies or peptides
  • Techniques for delivery to the central nervous system using administration devices, etc.

Other conditions:

  • In vivo data confirming the transferability of antibodies and peptides to the central nervous system must be available.
6-1-2 Technology to improve the intestinal absorption of peptides to enable oral administration

Research interests:

  • Technology that enables increased intestinal absorption through the oral administration of peptides by formulation or DDS technology without significantly altering the chemical structure of the peptides themselves to be transported

Untargeted research:

  • Technology that significantly changes the chemical structure (sequence or composition) of the peptides and that requires the screening of these peptides to identify candidates for the purpose of this research

Other conditions:

  • It is desirable to have data showing increased intestinal absorption with some peptides in previous studies.
6-1-3 Technology for the sustained release of antibodies, proteins, and peptides

Research interests:

  • Technology that enables long-term (more than 4 weeks) controlled release by subcutaneous administration

Untargeted research:

  • Research that is in an early stage of development, with no prospects of manufacturing or scaling up investigational new drugs
6-1-4 Technology to improve the retention of peptides in blood

Research interests:

  • Technology that does not require modification of the peptide itself
  • Technology that uses existing Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)-certified excipients that have a proven track record in clinical use

Untargeted research:

  • Technology that requires chemical bonding between the peptide and excipient

Other conditions:

  • In vivo data using some peptides must be available.
6-2 Research tools and analysis methods
6-2-1 Technology to differentiate human iPSCs into neurons (e.g., dorsal root ganglia, spinal dorsal horn nerves) or glial cells (e.g., microglia, astrocytes)

Research interests:

  • In particular, a method to induce the differentiation of iPSCs into astrocytes

Other conditions:

  • Good reproducibility and a certain level of throughput (e.g., 96-well plate) are required.
  • It is preferable to have obtained experimental results of differentiation into target neurons or glial cells, and to have confirmed the expression of marker genes and functional and morphological characteristics.
6-2-2 A solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance technique that can obtain information on dynamics to elucidate the interaction mechanism between drug candidates and targeted biomolecules

Research interests:

  • Use of the state-of-the-art techniques such as Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST), Carr Purcell-Meiboom Gill (CPMG) relaxation dispersion, or order parameters is preferable
  • If a protein is targeted, a capability to observe it in not only the main chain, but also the side chains, is preferable.

Other conditions:

  • Successful analysis of biomolecules, including nucleic acids and proteins with a molecular weight of 20 kDa or more, is required.
6-2-3 Structural analysis methods for long RNA strands

Research interests:

  • Research that can experimentally analyze the secondary or tertiary structure of over 300-mer RNA

Untargeted research:

  • Prediction using computational methods such as in silico simulation
  • Analysis methods using large-scale experimental equipment

Other conditions:

  • It is desirable to have comparative data with the SHAPE-MaP or dimethyl sulfate method.
6-3 Organic Synthesis, Compound Library
6-3-1 Organic synthetic reaction technology with On-DNA applicable to DNA-encoded synthesis

Research interests:

  • Research on the construction of heterocycles under nonacidic conditions (pH 4–12) at non-high temperatures and in water-containing solvents

Other conditions:

  • Must have some experimental results that demonstrate the research content.
6-3-2 New methodology to synthesize fragment compounds and optimize the hit fragments in fragment based-drug discovery (FBDD)

Research interests:

  • Novel synthetic methodology for fragment compounds favorable for the manner of short steps and sterically sophisticated synthesis
  • Development of a new designing or filtering fragment library and optimization strategy for hit fragments
6-3-3 Screening methods for new fragment molecules in FBDD

Research interests:

  • Facile, low-protein-consumed, or robust biophysical screening against membrane protein or protein–protein interaction; preferably to be able to detect its function
  • Fragment linking or merging approach using chemical biology techniques
6-3-4 Screening technology for covalent ligands

Research interests:

  • New screening methodology using a covalent (fragment) library
  • Designing a system for covalent compounds

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