University of Tokyo's RCAST, Fujitsu, and Kowa Successfully Create Promising New Compounds to Fight Drug-Resistant Cancer

FujitsuThe University of Tokyo's Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), Fujitsu Limited, and Kowa Company Ltd. today announced that using IT-based drug discovery technologies, which entails computer-based virtual design and evaluation, they have successfully created new small molecule compounds that can inhibit cancer-causing "target proteins," and that demonstrate promise against cancers that have shown resistance to existing drugs. In order to link the results of this research to the creation of new drugs, Kowa intends to improve upon the small molecule compounds discovered through this research.

Details of the Research and the Division of Responsibilities

Fujitsu and RCAST began joint research on IT-based drug discovery in June 2011, with Kowa joining in July, conducting research projects around multiple drug discovery targets. This particular joint research project began in December 2015, selecting a drug-resistant oncogenic protein as a drug discovery target. Fujitsu used IT-based drug discovery to design a small molecule compound that featured inhibitory activity(1), and then Kowa synthesized the compound and assessed its inhibitory activity in experiments. RCAST took on the role of providing information on drug discovery targets based from a medical perspective. Fujitsu and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. additionally made repeated improvements to the IT-based drug discovery technologies during the course of the joint research project, increasing both accuracy and performance.

Results of the Joint Research

In this joint research, Fujitsu leveraged its proprietary technologies to provide Kowa with chemical structures with the anticipated effect of decreasing the activities of the target protein. Specifically, Fujitsu incorporated drug candidate compound design technology(2) and the drug discovery insights it has previously accumulated, and designed synthetic accessible small molecule compounds using computers. Next, the binding affinity of each compound with the target protein is calculated to narrow down the selection using the M2BAR method(3), which is an improvement on high precision activity prediction technology(4). Fujitsu also took into consideration the results of high precision conformational analysis(5) based on quantum mechanics. Kowa synthesized the small molecule compounds designed by Fujitsu, and confirmed that some of the compounds demonstrated the inhibitory activity desired for drug candidates. Kowa subsequently synthesized multiple small molecule compounds sharing similar chemical structures, and confirmed that a series of the synthesized compounds also showed inhibitory activity. Kowa is currently evaluating the complex structure of these compounds using X-ray crystallography, and plans to optimize the small molecule compounds obtained from this research to reflect the results to the discovery of new drugs. Through this joint research project, RCAST, Fujitsu, and Kowa have succeeded in using IT-based drug discovery to create new small molecule compounds with inhibitory activity against cancer-causing target proteins, and may one day prove effective even against cancers that show resistance to existing drugs.

About Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology

Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) aims to contribute to the development of science and technology by expeditiously taking on new challenges arising from the advancement of science and coincident changes in society, and by exploring new areas of advanced science and technology for the benefit of humankind and society.

About Kowa

Kowa Company, Ltd. is a private multinational company headquartered in Nagoya, Japan. Established in 1894, Kowa has been actively engaging in multidiscipline business including pharmaceuticals, textiles, machinery, and construction material fields. Its pharmaceutical division is focused on research and development for cardiovascular therapeutics, ophthalmology and anti-inflammatory agents.

About Fujitsu Ltd

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 155,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$40 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.

1. Inhibitory activity The degree to which a compound binds to a protein thought to cause a specific disease indication and inhibits the function of the protein. Usually expressed in terms of the concentration of the compound.
2. Drug candidate compound design technology Optimum Packing of Molecular Fragments (OPMF), a software module developed by Fujitsu that designs small molecule compounds that bind to the functional site of proteins that are believed to cause specific disease indications and inhibit the activity of the proteins.
3. M2BAR A computational method developed by Fujitsu Laboratories for rapidly and accurately predicting the quantitative activity of a compound using multiple binding patterns.
4. High-precision activity prediction technology Software developed by Fujitsu Laboratories, comprised of MAPLECAFEE, a module that, based on molecular dynamics calculations, predicts the inhibitory activity of drug candidate compounds with a high level of precision that is equivalent to that of biochemical assays, and Force Field Formulator for Organic Molecules (FF-FOM), a module that generates highly detailed parameters for calculating the forces between atoms.
5. Conformational analysis A method of analyzing the relationship between a compound's conformation (three-dimensional structure) and its potential energy.

Most Popular Now

Doctors Rely on More than Just Data for …

Many technology companies are working on artificial intelligence systems that can analyze medical data to help diagnose or treat health problems. Such systems raise the question of whether this kind...

App, Brief Intervention may be Lifesaver…

A troubled teenager is hospitalized with suicidal thoughts. The patient is diagnosed, medicated, and counseled by a team of experts. The teen is sent home a few days later, and...

New Coalition of Philanthropists Includi…

Philanthropist Bill Gates and the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) co-founder Leonard Lauder have announced a new initiative, Diagnostics Accelerator, to develop novel biomarkers for the early detection of Alzheimer's...

IMI Launches New Antimicrobial Resistanc…

A new Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Accelerator Programme is part of new Calls for proposals launched today by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). Of the other topics launched in the Calls...

Wearable Devices and Mobile Health Techn…

With increasing efforts being made to address the current global obesity epidemic, wearable devices and mobile health ("mHealth") technology have emerged as promising tools for promoting physical activity. However, current...

Frontiers Health 2018

15 - 16 November 2018, Berlin, Germany. Frontiers Health has fast become one of the premiere conferences in the digital health space, combining a unique mix of attendees and presenters from...

Digital Health to Disrupt Health IT Mark…

25 - 26 March 2019, London, United Kingdom. Digital Health - publishers of digitalhealth.net and organisers of the CCIO, CNIO, CIO Networks and annual Summer Schools - is to shake up...

Bayer Cares Foundation Promotes Sustaina…

Grants4Impact (G4I), a new energizer program launched by Bayer Cares Foundation, is providing targeted support to social impact pioneers and start-ups in the fields of healthcare and nutrition. The aim...

Philips and Oxford University Hospitals …

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust, announced plans to create a digital pathology network to help...

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust …

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has selected Allscripts Sunrise as its electronic health record, in a move that further solidifies the company's position in the South East of England...

Start Alliance Berlin: Digital Health

Start Alliance Berlin: Digital Health is a two-week program taking place in November 2018 which is intended to help startups from BEIJING, DUBAI, NEW YORK, LONDON, PARIS, SHANGHAI, TEL AVIV...