Our mission is to deliver novel medicine by quickly incorporating cutting-edge technologies into our drug discovery research through the use of open innovation.

Pharmaceuticals Research Center
Laboratory for Medicinal Chemistry,
Laboratory for Drug Discovery, and
Laboratory for Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control


Creating for Tomorrow

“ New technologies aimed at addressing the challenges in drug discovery and development at Asahi Kasei Pharma ”


Laboratory for Medicinal Chemistry

Kazufumi Okawa

Senior Principal Scientist
Laboratory for Medicinal Chemistry

Asahi Kasei Pharma has been actively integrating innovative technologies into our research environment and applying them to drug discovery research. To date, we have incorporated, for example, high-throughput synthesis, DDS, and FBDD technologies. Working in partnership with research institutions led by experts in these advanced technologies, we have succeeded in accelerating our research. However, to meet the growing demands of global healthcare, we still need to overcome many difficult technical problems. Consequently, more powerful technologies will be increasingly needed in the future.

This year, we are seeking certain technologies that can apply to our drug discovery research. Specifically, they are related to computational techniques, synthetic reactions, and crystalline sponge preparation methods.

Recruitment theme 

5.1 Novel techniques for performing structural analysis with crystalline sponges, and new approaches for constructing these molecular cages for the structure determination of low-size molecular (MW ≥500) and middle-size molecular (peptide) compounds
  • Proposed crystalline sponges should ideally be able to accept a wide range of guest compounds (e.g., both polar and nonpolar molecules).
    Alternatively, multiple molecular cages could be built to accommodate a large number of different guest molecules with varying physical properties.
5.2 Highly accurate computational method for predicting the acid dissociation constant (pKa) of a small molecule
  • Machine learning approaches will not be considered.
5.3 A new algorithm for the accurate modeling of membrane proteins (particularly ion channels)
  • The performance of the algorithm must have been validated with membrane proteins other than GPCR.
5.4 Reaction prediction using a quantum chemistry computational method
  • A new methodology for precisely simulating reaction pathways.
  • Ideally, proposed approaches should be made readily accessible to chemical scientists.
  • AI-based reaction prediction will not be considered.
5.5 New descriptors of chemical compounds for the precise modeling of quantitative structure-activity relationships
5.6 A new computational approach to predict protein-ligand binding kinetics (kon/koff)
5.7 New technology of photoredox reaction for scaling up
  • Proposed technologies or devices must be able to scale up for several tens of grams.
  • After scaling up the reactions, the yield must be similar to published data.
  • The batch reaction systems that can readily be performed in our laboratory will be high priority. The use of a high-cost device (several tens million yen or more) will not be considered.


Click “Apply” to proceed to the application form.