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Biologics (also referred to as biopharmaceuticals) are radically effective and have relatively few side effects. Despite efforts to develop biologics, Japanese pharmaceutical companies still face many technological challenges.
To commission development in order to strengthen Japan’s competitiveness in international markets for biologics
Transfer technologies to industry by the end of this program
To establish innovative technology that serves as a base for the development of the world’s first next-generation biologics
Biopharmaceuticals have higher target specificity and thus more dramatic effects than do small molecule drugs, and therefore are expected to cause fewer side effects. Japanese pharmaceutical companies are engaged in the development of biopharmaceuticals, but many technical problems remain. Examples include technologies for drug discovery for intracellular targeting, development of low molecular weight biopharmaceuticals, technologies for the delivery of biopharmaceuticals to specific tissues or cells, high activity and stability improvements for nucleic acid pharmaceuticals, and technologies for controlling sugar chain structures.
Based on this state of affairs, the "Basic Science and Platform Technology Program for Innovative Biological Medicine" aims at strengthening the international competitiveness of Japanese biopharmaceuticals. The program was inaugurated in FY2014 as a five-year consignment plan (headed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) through March 2015, and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) from April 2015). The program has continued research and development aimed at the resolution of technical challenges facing pharmaceutical companies and the creation of the world's first next-generation technologies for institutions with leading-edge technologies related to biopharmaceutical creation.