2017 Volume 52 Issue 1 Pages 51-63
In 1990, the Science Council of Japan made recommendations to establish a research system consisting of members from industry, academia and government to revitalize drug discovery research. Following an investigation by the government, in particular the Cabinet Secretariat, a drug discovery support network and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) were established. Measures and research funds for drug discovery research that were previously divided amongst the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry came to be managed unitarily and operations became more efficient. In the drug discovery support network, drug discovery support programs similar to overseas drug discovery support organizations have been developed. Additionally, a coordinator with experience in drug discovery research in industry introduced translational research for practical applications. One issue regarding the drug discovery support network, was how to actively communicate with the industry. In order to resolve this issue, setting up a specialized section or organization was proposed by the authors. In addition, it was considered effective to exchange information on research projects that companies stopped during the research and development phase, and consider adaptation to other diseases by utilizing AMED resources and networks. It is hoped that the most innovative pharmaceutical products are created through the inflection of Japan's future drug discovery support networks throughout the world.