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Apr. 11, 2016Print(PDF/115KB)R&D

Kyoto University and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Launch Second Stage of Joint Research Project for Innovative Oncology Therapeutics (DSK Project)

Kyoto University (Kyoto, Japan; President: Juichi Yamagiwa) and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. (Osaka, Japan; President: Masayo Tada) ("Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma") announced the launch of second stage of the DSK Project, a framework for joint research aimed at discovering innovative anti-cancer drugs, diagnostic tools and therapeutic methods.

In this new stage of the DSK Project, Kyoto University and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma will conduct unique drug discovery research focusing on the regulatory mechanisms of interactions with cancer cells, immune cells, and stroma cells in tumor microenvironment by the approaches of molecular/cellular biology and clinical aspects.

Kyoto University is strongly committed to collaborative projects between industry and academia on the institutional level through its Medical Innovation Center (MIC) - The first open innovation laboratory in Japan. The mission of the MIC is to discover innovative medicines and therapeutic methods as well as to develop researchers in related fields. For instance, the University provides intensive, advanced cancer treatments at its Kyoto University Cancer Center and is engaged in state-of-the-art basic research through its Graduate School of Medicine as it seeks to develop new diagnostic tools and groundbreaking therapeutic methods for fighting cancer.

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma pursues extensive research and development (R&D) approaches including its internal research expertise, in-licensed technologies, and joint research with venture companies and universities in a quest for innovative pharmaceutical products. The Company focuses on the therapeutic areas of psychiatry & neurology and oncology. Within oncology, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma aims to develop innovative products under the integrated global R&D system between the DSP Cancer Institute of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma in Japan and Boston Biomedical, Inc. in the United States.

Kyoto University and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma have agreed to establish a joint cancer R&D laboratory within the MIC for the purpose of launching second stage of the DSK Project. Dr. Shinji Uemoto, Dean of the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine, will serve as a project director, and cancer immunology specialist Dr. Nagahiro Minato, Specially Assigned Professor of the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, will work as a project mentor, core cancer research groups at the Graduate School of Medicine and their counterparts at the research groups at Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma will work closely to develop unique and innovative anti-cancer drugs, diagnostic tools and therapeutic methods from the new perspective of "cancer and host response."

* Initial stage of the DSK Project was announced on March 15, 2011.

Summary
Second stage of DSK Project:

Purpose:
Development of unique and innovative anti-cancer drugs, diagnostic tools, and therapeutic strategies through discovering novel regulatory mechanisms of cancers cells interacted with immune and stroma cells* in tumor microenvironment.
* Stroma cells are non-cancerous cells that exist in cancer tissues, such as fibroblasts, immune cells, pericytes, endothelial cells and inflammatory cells.
Term:
5 years from April 2016
Organization:
The Alliance Management Committee, Research Promotion Committee, and Intellectual Property Committee constitute the leadership structure of the DSK Project, with each committee having an equal number of members from Kyoto University and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma.
Under the overall management by Dr. Shinji Uemoto, Dean of the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine, and research activity coordination by Dr. Nagahiro Minato, Specially Assigned Professor of the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University's core research groups (immunology, gastroenterology, genome informatics) and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma's satellite research groups will conduct the Project in the Medical Innovation Center, University Hospital, West Campus.