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Fujitsu, RIKEN start joint research on next-generation IT drug discovery tech

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Fujitsu Ltd and RIKEN have launched a joint research project on next-generation IT drug discovery technology utilizing the supercomputer Fugaku, aiming to accelerate DX (digital transformation) in drug discovery, explore promising new areas in this process, and dramatically reduce development period and costs for new drug development.

The joint research project will combine Fujitsu's DeepTwin AI technology, which accurately acquires quantitative features from complex data by unsupervised learning, with molecular dynamics simulation using RIKEN's AI drug discovery simulation technology. It is expected that this approach makes it possible to improve the accuracy and speed of molecular simulation and establish innovative technologies that can predict changes in the structure of target proteins over a wide range.

Based on this research, the two parties aim to develop a next-generation IT drug discovery technology with world-leading capabilities by the end of fiscal 2026. Fujitsu and RIKEN anticipate that this technology will perform analysis of target protein and drug candidate molecule complex and predict large-scale structural changes of molecules with high speed and high accuracy to contribute to the development of middle-molecular drugs and large-molecular drugs, which are expected to have high efficacy and low side effects.

© JCN NEwswire

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Published papers make a huge appeal about this approach, allowing tens of thousands of compounds to be screened "in silico" before even beginning to actually test them in the laboratory. In theory this can help finding out better drugs or even design new molecules to very strict requirements.

The problem would be again in the absolute lack of support the Japanese government gives to innovations in health care, what is the point in getting a 5 year advantage in basic pharmacological research if that is going to be consumed by 5 years of endless paperwork to the PMDA to get a phase I clinical trial going on?

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