History of This Division
The TR (Translational Research) center, which was the former organization of this division and lasted until 2018, got notable results in the field of nucleic acid drug. Also, nucleic acid-based drugs have recently attracted much attention as a next generation type drug. There are a plenty of researchers who work on nucleic acids at TUS, and the most of them took part the activity of TR center. Then, “round-table conference on nucleic acid drugs and DDS” was established in 2017 (representative: Prof. Makiya Nishikawa), and we have active discussions on nucleic acid drugs. Under these circumstances, the Division of Nucleic Acid Drug Development was established as a subsequent organization of TR center in April 2019.
The development of nucleic acid drugs requires a knowledge from wide range of research field. There are many prominent researchers who work on nucleic acid or related research at TUS, thus innovative and unique results are highly anticipated through their collaborations. In this division, one of our mission is the development of novel nucleic acid derivatives which overwhelm conventional ones in the viewpoint of efficacy, stability and safety. Also, we aim at establishing the cationic molecules and formulation technology which stabilize and improve pharmacokinetics of nucleic acid drugs. We chose immune system, metabolic system related diseases and cancer as targets. As just described, the development of original nucleic acid drugs targeting unique diseases are highly expected by gathering of in-house competent researchers in this division.
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Takeshi Wada, Kazuki Sato (Organic chemistry)
Makiya Nishikawa, Kosuke Kusamori (Drug delivery system)
Takehisa Hanawa, Yayoi Kawano (Medicinal formulation)
Yoshikazu Higami, Masaki Kobayashi, Ryoma Tagawa (Molecular pathology and metabolic disease)
Kazunori Akimoto (Molecular Pathology)
Satoru Miyazaki, Yosuke Kondo (Bioinformatics)
Faculty of Science
Hidetaka Torigoe (Biophysical chemistry)
Faculty of Industrial Science and Technology
Chiharu Nishiyama, Takuya Yashiro (Immunology, allergy and molecular biology)
Research Institute of Biomedical Sciences
Masayuki Sakurai (Biomolecular Chemistry)
Current Situation of Nucleic Acid Drugs and Our Research Topics
Nucleic acid-based drugs are anticipated to be an epoch-making remedy for the treatment of intractable hereditary diseases. The global market size of nucleic acid-based drugs is predicted to expand to 19 billion dollars in 2030 from 2 billion dollars in 2018, according to the estimation of Seed Planning Inc., a marketing research and consulting enterprise. Although much efforts have been devoted to the research of nucleic acid-based drugs, only 8 drugs have been approved so far. There are a lot of challenges to overcome for the development of potent nucleic acid drugs, and a break-through is required for the further progress of this area. To address this issue, we are dealing with following topics;
- Development of an efficient method to synthesize boranophosphate oligonucleotides which is anticipated as an alternative candidate of phosphorothioate
- Establishment of a scalable synthetic method of artificial cationic oligosaccharides and peptides that bind to and stabilize nucleic acids.
- Construction of a highly target selective drug delivery system through the elucidation of interaction between nano-structured nucleic acid and cells
- Development of antisense drugs that target such as wound and bladder cancer remedy
- Development of a novel formulation method of nucleic acid drug
- Research on the control of aging, aging related diseases and metabolic abnormalities by nucleic acid drugs
- Development of nucleic acid drugs which regulate autoimmune response and rejection reaction during an organ transplantation
- Development of effective breast cancer drugs using novel artificial cationic molecules and siRNAs
- Establishment of investigation technology via bioinformatics and AI to determine the sequence of a mRNA that codes disease-related protein
Future Development Goals
Our goal is to make a breakthrough in the field of nucleic acid drugs through the collaboration of in-house researchers
This division was established by the cross-departmental team of in-house researchers working on the nucleic acid or other related research fields. By succession of networks and joint researches created through the activity of the TR center, we aim to develop innovative nucleic acid drugs from TUS.