Project for drug discovery and medical research based on regeneration of synapses and neuronal functions

(SK project, 2nd Term, Kyoto University)

  • PARTNER 01
    Project leader: Professor Toshiya Murai
    PI: Associate Professor Naoya Oishi
    PI: Associate Professor Masaaki Ogawa
    PI: Associate Professor Shusaku Uchida
    (Shionogi researcher)
    (Project subleader: Koichi Ogawa)
    (PI: Hidekuni Yamakawa)

In 2018, the Shionogi-Kyoto University Joint Research Project (SK Project), which started in 2013, entered its second term (SK2). One of the characteristics of SK2 is that researchers from academia and industry work as one. There are four research teams: three with researchers from academia and one with researchers from industry. There are no barriers between the academia and industry researchers with regard to laboratory administration, scientific activities or even convivial activities during free hours. Another characteristic of SK2 is the fusion of clinical and basic research, as one of the research teams consists of clinical researchers. Ideas that surfaced in everyday discussion between basic and clinical researchers proved to be noteworthy even from the very start of this project. By making use of this unique research environment, we will aim to discover and develop revolutionary medicine for the treatment of mental disorders.


Discovery collaboration using PeptiDream's prorietary technology, PDPS

(Peptide Discovery Platform System)

  • PARTNER 02
    Vice President・Keiichi Masuya

In February 2016, collaborative research and development between Shionogi & Co., Ltd. and PeptiDream Inc. was initiated to create constrained peptides for multiple target proteins.
During the project planning phase, Shionogi made sure to carefully discuss research plans, flow charts after screening using PDPS carried out at the company, and in what form target proteins would be supplied. Meetings with Shionogi research management and scientists are extremely friendly and constructive. I have been particularly impressed by the deep understanding of diseases, detailed research plans for each project, an extremely logical research framework, and a strong conviction to fulfill unmet medical needs, in addition to enthusiasm for each individual researcher’s project. In fact, the project was launched promptly after the agreement, producing results after a short time. The collaborative research with the excellent Shionogi researchers has inspired our researchers, and I believe it has made us grow as an organization.


The Milner Therapeutics Consortium

  • PARTNER 03
    Tony Kouzarides
  • PARTNER 03
    Kathryn Chapman

"We are very pleased that Shionogi is a member of the Milner Therapeutics Consortium and will use the Consortium to collaborate with scientists in Cambridge, UK. We are building the foundations for a world-leading hub in Cambridge around the Milner Therapeutics Institute and Shionogi are an important partner, demonstrating that the Consortium is working on a truly global scale.”

Professor Tony Kouzarides, Director, The Milner Therapeutics Consortium


Development of a drug for treating cancer targeting immunosuppressive cells

  • PARTNER 04
    The development of immunotherapy targeting immune suppressive molecules and cells
    Principal Investigator: Specially Appointed Professor Naganari Ohkura
    Member: Specially Appointed Assistant Professor Atsushi Tanaka
  • PARTNER 04
    Clinical research for regulatory factors in tumor immunology
    Principal Investigator: Specially Appointed Professor Hisashi Wada
    Member: Specially Appointed Associate Professor Kouta Iwahori
    Member: Specially Appointed Assistant Professor Akiko Okazawa

In April 2014, CoMIT went into operation with the basic aim of promoting the development of highly advanced medical services and open innovations in collaboration with Japanese industry, academia, and government, moving ahead of the rest of the world. With an expectation for synergy with Osaka University, a site of world-class immunology research, we are striving to create new cancer therapeutics targeting immunosuppressive cells at two joint research departments collaborating in basic sciences and clinical practices. Researchers from both academia and industry continuously work on the same research theme in the same single laboratory in each department. This enables them to generate valuable experiences and opportunities gaining useful information that would not be possible in in-house settings. This includes rapid progress in research in academia in this age of global competitiveness and medical needs told by clinical practitioners, helping promote higher levels of drug discovery research. Another mission of CoMIT is nurturing young researchers in developing human resources for the future through united efforts with academia-industry collaboration. As such, the wonderful milieu allows workers from the two sectors to freely exchange opinions toward self-improvement, and to grow into researchers with broader views and more profound knowledge.
Currently, investigations are ongoing to identify new drug discovery target molecular species by making the best use of the most advanced bioinformatics technology, and to conduct demonstrative studies with a wide variety of clinical samples in cooperation with various hospital departments. We endeavor to deliver innovative radical treatments for cancer patients as soon as possible, by applying the results of this joint research program into clinical settings.