Biotechnology Research Institute for Drug Discovery
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Greeting from the Director


 — Aiming development and industrial application of the new technologies required for drug discovery and regenerative medicine — 

  Realization and enhancement of personalized medicine such as early detection and early treatment of disease toward rapid rehabilitation are required in recent social situation including demographic aging. There are also expectations for advancing utilization of information and communication technology (ICT) in the fields of medicine, care, and prevention and establishment of the world’s most efficient system, maintaining the highest level in development of the health and medicinal technologies, and increasing the international competitiveness of the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to make them into our leading industries.

  As of April 2015, AIST has been designated as a national research and development agency and entered into the final year of the fourth intermediate term in 2019.
  To address the problems we are facing, Biotechnology Research Institute for Drug Discovery, located at the AIST Tsukuba Central and the AIST Tokyo Waterfront, was established as of April 1, 2015 to promote development of the base technologies required for drug discovery, medical infrastructure, and healthcare.
  Biotechnology Research Institute for Drug Discovery succeeded the research and human resources from the previous organizations, Glycomedicine Technology Research Center, Research Center for Stem Cell Engineering, and Computational Biology Research Center. To enhance our advantage in the technologies for glycan analysis, stem cell engineering, and bioinformatics, we aim: (1) development of disease diagnostic markers based on altered glycosylation and its application into diagnostic agents, (2) development of the method to establish safe human stem cells, (3) development of technologies for efficacious induction of stem cell differentiation aiming application of stem cell-derived cells, tissues, and organs into drug discovery screening and regenerative medicine, and (4) development of bioinformatics technology to efficiently predict disease causative factors based on the genome information.
  Moreover, we will actively develop novel technology combining our three areas of expertise. Development of the technology adopting other research areas beyond the boundary of research fields should be accelerated.

  We have developed a blood diagnostic agent to predict the progress of human liver fibrosis (cirrhosis) utilizing our unique glycan analysis technology and commercialized as an insurance-covered medicine in collaboration with a commercial company. This medicine is also used overseas. We also realized a technique for specific detection of iPS cells by combining our technology for glycan analysis and stem cell establishment, and commercialized as a detection reagent under cooperation with a private sector.
  We will keep developing new technologies to address social, industrial, and commercial needs and pass the achievements to the industries and corporations.

   Kimihiko KAMEYAMA, MD Ph.D.
   Biotechnology Research Institute for Drug Discovery