【JPMA / NCBN】Joint research between industry-academia-government to create new drugs-Building an integrated database of disease-specific information

2021年02月18日 (木)

Seven member companies of the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA) and the National Center Biobank Network (NCBN) announced on December 25 that they will start joint research on building and utilizing an integrated database of disease-specific information that is expected to be used in developing new drugs and personalized medicine. The joint research is carried out until March 2025. After obtaining omics data such as genetic information and protein from patient-derived samples attached to clinical information held by NCBN, industry-academia-government jointly builds an integrated database of disease-specific information by combining analysis results with clinical information such as laboratory data and image data.

Through a non-competitive collaboration framework, it will lead to the solution of medical problems by academia and the creation of innovative new drugs by pharmaceutical companies.

The seven pharmaceutical companies participating in this project are Asahi Kasei Pharma Co. Ltd., Astellas Pharma Inc., Eisai Co. Ltd., Ono Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd., and Nippon Shinyaku Co. Ltd.

In addition to NCBN, the National Center for Global Health and Medicine, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center will also participate from academia.

They proposed and adopted the GAPFREE Project (drug discovery project using clinical information from industry-academia-government collaboration) by Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED). The R&D representative is Mr. Yuichi Goto, biobank advisor at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine.

Regarding the company’s drug discovery activities, there is a movement to link drug discovery with analyzing pathological conditions in a precise, systematic, and comprehensive manner based on omics data obtained from patient-derived samples linked to clinical information.

NCBN has biobank samples from the Japan Health Research Promotion Bureau (JH) and proactively acquired samples through accurate medical care. NCBN also acquired omics data which had analyzed such as genetic information, mRNA, protein, metabolites comprehensively and in a multi-layered by using advanced measurement methods. These results are then combined with medical information so that an integrated database of disease-specific information can be built on a non-competitive basis.

After building a database, each institution will focus on the diseases and molecules of their interest and carry out its analysis. Academics can conduct further research on new disease classifications, proposals for early diagnosis methods, formulation of new treatment guidelines, etc. In the other hand, pharmaceutical companies lead to create innovative drugs based on disease biomarkers through identifying target molecules for stratified patient groups.

In the medium to long term, they will promote secondary use of databases by combining methods from various fields such as cutting-edge sample analysis methods, big data analysis, and artificial intelligence utilization. They will also accelerate collaboration with external data and promote environmental development for preventive and preemptive medical solutions.

In Japan, government-led implementation plans such as whole-genome analysis are being studied, and drug discovery utilizing genomic information is expected. In Europe and the United States, it has been pointed out as an issue that government-maintained databases are limited to genomic data and basic clinical information, however, this project intends to build the integrated database of disease-specific information that multi-layered omics and clinical information were connected.

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