Greetings from the Representative

The Catalyst Unit is one of the “Drug Discovery & Development” program units created by the Department of Innovative Drug Discovery and Development (iD3) of the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED). AMED iD3 has constructed eight units in the Infrastructure Program for Drug Discovery Seeds Development to create a bridge between valuable resources in private sector and academic research organizations (ARO) to further drug development research. The goals of the program are strengthening support network and driving force for innovative drug discovery and development. The Catalyst Unit is responsible for public relations activities, such as sharing information among the eight AMED iD3 units, and providing a place for transmitting information, presenting problems, and creating discussion for stakeholders in academia, industry, and regulatory agencies.

To enhance the development of drugs, medical devices, and regenerative medical products, various scientific technologies are necessary. Recently, the regulations for the review medical products have changed significantly in order to accommodate new types of medicines, including antibody drugs, nucleic acid drugs, and accelerated implementation of iPS cells. Under these circumstances, further advancement of “Translational Science” is essential for the development of research in medical areas. Here, the term translational science subsumes the exploratory technologies that bridge basic research into the practical use of drugs, medical devices, and regenerative medical products, and the scientific technologies that evaluate efficacy and toxicity. In other words, it is of great importance to proactively identify biomedical science research conducted by academia that may lead to translational research and translational medicine. In addition, the promotion of “Regulatory Science” is also mandatory to optimize the advancement of science and technology in accordance with regulations. Therefore, cooperation with Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices agency (PMDA), pharmaceutical companies, and medical engineering companies is critical. It is necessary to create a place where members of the global community of researchers into translational science and regulatory science can share their research results and inspire each other. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) in the US and the Innovative Medicines Initiatives (IMI) in Europe work on large national projects similar to AMED in Japan; therefore, harmonization with such overseas organizations is also necessary.

The Catalyst Unit is operated by the Department of Veterinary Pharmacology, of the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo. The mission of the unit is to be an information hub to disseminate outcomes of research into translational science and regulatory science by projects granted by AMED, as well as research outcomes from overseas organizations by means of the international e-journal “Translational and Regulatory Science”, which will be released in early 2019. The unit would also like to collaborate with organizations in academia, industry, and regulators by hosting international symposia and public relations activities through this website. I appreciate your understanding and cooperation for our activities.

April 1, 2018

Masatoshi HORI, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Representative of AMED iD3 Catalyst Unit
Professor, Laboratory of Veterinary Pharmacology
Head of the Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences
Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Sciences,

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