Takeda Forms Stem-Cell Pact

The Center for iPS Cell Research Application (CiRA) of Kyoto University and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited have formed a partnership to develop clinical applications of induced pluripotent stem cells in areas such as heart failure, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and cancer immunotherapy. The Takeda-CiRA Joint Program for iPS Cell Applications (T-CiRA) is designed to expedite multiple research projects for drug discovery and cell therapy using iPS cells. CiRA Director Shinya Yamanaka, a Nobel laureate for his work on iPS cells, will direct the program, and Takeda will provide long-term funding, recommendations on research management, and facilities at its Shonan Research Center in Fujisawa, Japan.

During a period of 10 years, Takeda and CiRA will jointly run projects led by research experts invited from CiRA. Takeda will provide research facilities at its Shonan Research Center and collaborative funding of 20 billion yen ($167 million) over a 10-year period. In addition, Takeda will provide more than 12 billion yen ($100 million) worth of research support (facility, equipment, Takeda researchers, and various research services) over the 10-year collaboration period. About 100 researchers, including new researchers recruited globally are to be based at Takeda's Shonan Research Center engaged in joint research, with each contributing about 50 researchers. Also, the access to special research assets, such as Takeda’s compound libraries, will be provided for the collaboration. Potential initial research projects include heart failure, diabetes mellitus, neuro-psychiatric disorders, and cancer immunotherapy. Additional projects will be included as the collaboration moves forward. Once set up, around 10 projects will be pursued concurrently.

CiRA, the 14th research institute at Kyoto University, was established on April 1, 2010 to serve as a core institute dedicated to pioneering iPS cell research

In a separate pact, Takeda has signed an agreement to undertake collaborative research with Keio University School of Medicine (Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo) and Niigata University (Niigata City, Niigata) at Takeda's Shonan Research Center (Fujisawa City, Kanagawa, Japan) regarding the search for and functional analysis of disease-related RNA-binding proteins as potential treatments in the areas such as central nervous system and oncology.The relationship between disease pathology and RNA-binding proteins has gradually become clearer in recent years, and a diseases' onset and progression is now thought to be linked to abnormalities in RNA-binding proteins. This research collaboration will focus on the systematic and comprehensive study of RNA-binding proteins with the aim of creating new therapeutic target candidates and technologies for drug discovery.

Source: Takeda (stem cells) and Takeda (RNA-binding proteins)

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