Kyoto and Tokyo, June 5, 2017  - Kyoto University (President: Juichi Yamagiwa) and Astellas Pharma Inc. (President and CEO: Yoshihiko Hatanaka, “Astellas”) today announced the inauguration of Alliance Station (A-Station), a new open innovation scheme at Kyoto University, and the establishment of Alliance Laboratory for Advanced Medical Research as a framework for the  implementation of its activities in Graduate School of Medicine Kyoto University.

There are still many unmet medical needs in the world including those of intractable diseases and rare diseases. Due to their complexity and rarity, mechanisms of these diseases are more difficult to be clarified, and drug discovery for these diseases requires an understanding of disease pathologies in humans. Thus, researches using blood and other clinical samples to identify molecules and cells critically associated with patients’ diseases, and those determining patient stratification are being highly demanded. In order to exploit findings of these studies and deliver innovative drugs to patients as soon as possible, efficient and in-depth research collaborations between academia and pharmaceutical company are needed in situations close to the clinical setting and diseases.

A-Station has been established to further accelerate drug discovery research through evolution of the open innovation system established by Kyoto University and Astellas in the AK project where clinical and basic research of the university and drug discovery research of the company are closely linked in a timely manner. A-Station is a new platform for collaboration between industry and academia and under this scheme, Kyoto University and Astellas will conduct joint research projects in all therapeutic areas in a prompt and flexible manner.
Kyoto University and Astellas will accelerate search for drug seeds and launch of drugs that could address unmet medical needs as well as inventing new technologies for predicting clinical validation.