Biotechnology Research Institute for Drug Discovery
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Laboratory for Drug Discovery

The goal the Laboratory for Drug Discovery is to overcome the weakness in current drug development and cost-effectively produce clinically relevant therapeutics and diagnostics. Antibody-based therapeutics currently enjoying growth in revenues are facing problems including high prices in research and final products. Anticipating a major paradigm change coming soon, we are exploring peptide-based therapeutics as a next generation drugs. We employ peptide-displaying phage technology to identify potential therapeutics and diagnostics. Our laboratory is armed by expertise in phage display technology and has a strong track record in developing clinically relevant peptide-based therapeutics for diseases otherwise difficult to cure.

Group's Research Theme

Effect of IF7-SN38 on tumors in the mouse
Effect of IF7-SN38 on tumors in the mouse





Malignant tumor vasculature-targeting peptide for cancer therapeutics

Malignant tumors develop new blood vessels around themselves for being supplied with oxygen and nutrients. These tumor-associated blood vessels express specific proteins on their cell surface. The most specific cell surface marker so far known is annexin 1 (Anxa1). We discovered by phage display that a 7-mer peptide designated as IF7 binds to Anxa1. When IF7-SN38, IF7 conjugated with potent anti-cancer drug SN38, was injected intravenously into tumor-bearing mice, the drug was rapidly accumulated to the tumor and exhibited anti-tumor activity without side effects. We anticipate that IF7-SN38 can be used clinically to save cancer patients. Currently, IF7-SN38 is underway for preparing a clinical trial.

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Development of therapeutic for endometriosis

Endometriosis affects 10-15% of women in reproductive age. It causes disabling pain, associates with infertility, and increases the risk for malignant ovarian cancers. Currently available treatments for this disease are hormonal therapy and surgery, and no therapeutic for complete cure of endometriosis is available. In addition, so far no accurate and non-invasive method for diagnosis is developed. Using phage display technology, our laboratory developed a potential therapeutic peptide for peritoneal endometriosis. We are also developing diagnostic reagents for identifying an endometriosis patient using serum.

Schematic presentation of PERRIS procedure, One of protease-resistant peptides, Inhibitor Cystine Knot GTx1-15

Inhibitor Cystine Knots (ICK) peptides by a novel phage display FERRIS for therapeutics targeting ion channels

Ion channels regulate functions in neurons and muscles. Hinted that ICKs are resistant to proteases due to inter molecular cross-links, our laboratory explores orally administrative peptide therapeutics. For the study of ion-channel, we developed a new method for electrophysiology using bacteria.

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Research Achievements

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Staff Members

Photo Position & Name Email Address & Web SiteWeb Site
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Laboratory Director
Michiko FUKUDA
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