Overview Objectives / Main projects covered by AMED
Medical R&D in Japan was seen as suffering from the problems of lacking a system that provides sufficiently seamless funding, from basic research to practical application, and lacking a system that adequately implements clinical studies / trials, causing discovery of new drugs to take too long. In order to deal with these issues, the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development aims to act as a 'control tower' that directs integrated research, from basic research to practical application. And since Japan is projected to become the world's first ultra-aging society, AMED aims to achieve the world's healthiest and longest-living people by creating the world's most advanced medical technologies and services, and also aims to become a pillar of Japan's economy by fostering medicine, drugs, and medical devices as strategic industries.
Promotion of R&D in the six integrated projects defined in the 2nd Healthcare Policy and medium- to long-term plan
AMED has established six “Integrated Projects” centered on modalities, and under the Program Director (PD) these will coordinate with the projects of related ministries and agencies, and will be centrally promoted from basic research to practical application. Research in specific disease areas will be promoted across the integrated projects so that it can be managed flexibly by the coordinators of each disease area.
AMED implements a technical approach with clearly defined development objectives such as “prevention, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and quality of life”, with a focus on extending healthy longevity.
The projects are solicited through wide-ranging calls for proposals, which are aimed at outstanding individuals working in world-class institutions. We receive approximately 4,000 proposals every year and between 800 and 900 proposals are awarded funding.
Main projects covered by AMED
Project for Advanced Drug Discovery and Development
This project supports pharmaceutical R&D taking into account the characteristics and properties of different modalities in areas ranging from target identification to clinical research, in order to promote the practical application of drugs to address high medical needs. For example, essential R&D activities such as the development of new modalities, optimization of each modality’s design, compound optimization, activity assessment, evaluation of eficacy/safety, and development of new manufacturing technologies are covered by this project. In addition, it aims to enable the discovery of innovative drugs for various diseases, through the utilization of new technologies and insight about various modalities for diseases from a cross-sectional perspective. This project also focuses on establishing the infrastructure to support drug discovery, including technologies for drug design, compound libraries, and sharing of analytical tools.
Project for Medical Device and Healthcare
This project supports R&D of medical devices/systems and healthcare, such as integrated artificial intelligence and Internet of Things technologies, measurement technologies, and robotics technologies, in its aim to achieve improved diagnosis, more effective treatment and prevention of diseases, and better quality of life.
Project for Regenerative Medicine and Cell and Gene Therapies
This project supports basic research on regenerative medicine/cell therapies, non-clinical and clinical research, development of foundational manufacturing technologies, research utilizing disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cells, and establishment of necessary foundational structures for research, as well as R&D in the field of gene therapies.
Project for Genome and Health-Related Data
Towards the realization of genomic and personalized medicines, this project promotes the creation of infrastructures for and utilization of genomic and related data. It also supports medical R&D that contributes to improved understanding of the onset of various diseases, prevention of serious illnesses, and improved diagnostics and therapies, through investigation of associations between genetic polymorphisms and various diseases across life-stages. Moreover, this project will support various studies for the implementation of new diagnostics and interventions that utilize medical data (e.g. medical registries), and studies for the collection of intangible assets, such as knowledge and experience.AMED will progress its data-sharing objectives based on this project.
Project for Basic Medical Research
This project supports basic R&D to better understand various functional aspects of life phenomena such as brain functionality, immunity, and aging, as well as R&D to elucidate various disease mechanisms. Results will be linked with clinical R&D and other integrated projects, while R&D that incorporates clinical aspects will also be supported.
Project for Seeds Development and Research Base
This project combines with clinical research and the other integrated projects in supporting basic research and international research collaboration with the potential to provide seeds for creating ground-breaking new research and modalities, while also cultivating a research system that transcends the boundaries of academic disciplines. It promotes the development of a seamless research system and infrastructure that supports research from basic through to clinical phases, while also supporting reverse translational research (rTR). This project also aims to develop systems and mechanisms for discovery and the translation of research seeds, as well as for the implementation of high-quality clinical research in Centers for Advancing Translational Research and clinical research core hospitals.
This project supports R&D conducted through industry-government-academia collaboration and promotes the development of an environment for collaboration by using government investment to create innovative drugs and medical devices, etc.
Moonshot Research and Development Program
This program aims to create the breakthrough innovation from Japan. The goal of our Moonshot program is to promote challenging research and development based on revolutionary concepts that are not merely extensions of conventional technologies. From the perspective of future society, this program conducts R&D focused on difficult social tasks but expected to offer a significant impact.
Programs relating to the Strategy for Strengthening the Vaccine Development and Production System (SCARDA-related and other programs)
Pursuant to the Strategy for Strengthening the Vaccine Development and Production System (the “Vaccine Strategy”), AMED aims to prepare for infectious disease emergencies and be able to respond to more virulent mutant strains and infectious diseases that could prove to be a threat in the future. Accordingly, AMED boosts the funding capacity for strategically significant research, initiative for world-leading vaccine research and development centers, and promotes the strengthening of the pharmaceutical startup ecosystem.
Last updated 12/14/22