Japan pharma works with research arms on drug discovery

Lab work 2
Discovery(Lab work 2)

Leading Japanese drugmakers have inked a collaboration pact that will see national clinics and research arms provide cell and tissue samples in a program focused on new therapies in 5 areas as diverse as immunotherapy and depression.

The effort funded with ¥3 billion starting in Japan's 2019 fiscal year sees Astellas Pharma, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, Daiichi Sankyo, Eisai, Ono Pharmaceutical and Chugai Pharmaceutical all join with the National Cancer Center, the National Center for Global Health and Medicine, and the Agency for Medical Research and Development, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

Nikkei reports that the combined entities will concentrate efforts on cancer, diabetic nephropathy and mental illnesses--including depression--by forming 5 working groups.

The drugmakers will get cell and tissue samples that will aid in drug discovery efforts collected from patients to form the basis for further research, Nikkei said, adding that any results will have to be approved for publication by the drug companies to protect intellectual property.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pushed for greater cooperation between the country's research network and drug and device companies--with the Agency for Medical Research and Development setup in 2015 designed to spur such efforts.

Earlier this month, Astellas Pharma, Daiichi Sankyo and Takeda Pharmaceutical also said they would work together on a biomarker database of healthy patients that will be managed by a Netherlands-based CRO, and could be used in clinical studies and shared with in-house and outside researchers.

- here's the story from Nikkei Asian Review