Topics Launch of collaboration between NITE and AMED on drug discovery booster - Permit the preferential use of promising microbial strains for new drug development -


The “Collaboration Program for Drug Discovery with Rare Actinomyces" will be launched by the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE) [President: Takashi Tatsumi] and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) [President: Makoto Suematsu].

Under the Academia's drug discovery theme supported by the AMED's "Project Promoting Support for Drug Discovery (The iD3 Booster)," extracts from the cultures of microorganisms called "rare actinomycetes," preserved at the NITE in large amounts, will be made available. Furthermore, if a promising seed compound that may be applicable for drug development is identified after use, the NITE permits the preferential use of the strain producing the seed compound for a certain period of time for the themes supporting the iD3 Booster.

The program should promote the use of NITE's diverse microbial resources for drug discovery and contribute to the research and development of innovative pharmaceuticals by "All-Japan" approaches.

  1. The research and development of pharmaceuticals are being shifted to a system utilizing “academia research by universities, etc." through “active open innovation activities." Under the slogan "Drug Development by All-Japan Approaches," the AMED has promoted the iD3 Booster. The iD3 Booster explores themes with a high probability of drug development (seeds for drug discovery) to be supported among the research themes proposed by academia and provides various supports, including establishment of research strategies for practical application, technical support, intellectual property management, and licensing support to companies.
  2. The NITE is the largest microbial preservation organization in Japan, supporting the development of Japan's biotechnology industry by promoting the utilization of its diverse microbial resources (about 90,000 strains). Actinomycetes, one of the NITE's microbial resources, produce various active substances which serve as seed compounds for antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals. Particularly, microorganisms called “rare actinomycetes," which cannot be easily isolated and cultivated, should provide an unexplored source for drug discovery, and may include strains producing promising active substances that may apply to innovative drug development.
  3. Thus, the NITE exchanged a memorandum with the AMED regarding the "Collaboration Program for Drug Discovery with Rare Actinomyces" to utilize Japanese screening strains (RD strains) among the NITE's diverse sources of rare actinomycetes in the themes supporting the AMED's iD3 Booster. In this program, the NITE provides the extracts from the cultures of rare actinomycetes for the themes supporting the AMED's iD3 Booster. The AMED conducts evaluation tests with universities and other institutions to identify seed compounds using extracts from the cultures of the rare actinomycetes provided by the NITE.
  4. If promising seed compounds are identified in the themes supporting the AMED's iD3 Booster, the NITE will allow the preferential use of their producing strains for a period of time. This will allow research for drug discovery while maintaining the superiority of the theme of the AMED's iD3 Booster. The NITE collaborates with the AMED in the program to support the development of innovative drugs for diseases for which no effective treatment is available.


Last updated 03/04/20