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Exploratory Research

Exploratory Research

TEAMS that Change Tomorrow

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The answer is there to be found - but only by those who continuously meet the challenge of exploratory research

Only one in 20,000 candidate compounds will prove effective

The work of creating a new drug starts with the search for promising candidate compounds. We call this “exploratory research,” and it begins with the elucidation of the mechanism underlying the target disease. At Astellas, we utilize a unique system of genetic function analysis to lay bare the causes of the disease in question at the molecular level. We then energetically explore those candidate compounds thought likely to have an effect on the molecular target.
Building on this base, we make full use of our two main weapons in new drug discovery: 1) our advanced synthetic technology, which enables us to create compounds that possess the properties envisaged by our researchers; and 2) our sophisticated fermentation technology, which enables us to extract valuable natural compounds from microorganisms that have been collected from a wide variety of soil samples from all over Asia, many of which are completely new to science.
We also apply special methods for the production of human antibody medicine. This is a valuable means of reinforcing our drug discovery capabilities.
Despite all these efforts, however, the fact remains that, the probability of discovering a new drug constituent from the compounds produced by microorganisms or from those created by our exploratory research is only about one in 20,000*.

*Source: Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA)

Despite these difficulties, at Astellas we work constantly to discover and launch, without delay, the new drugs for which patients around the world are longing. We leverage leading-edge technologies such as combinatorial chemistry, involving the parallel synthesis of many different compounds, and high-throughput screening, consisting of the computer-controlled screening of a vast number of biochemical, genetic or pharmacological tests. In this way, Astellas is able to make the most of its researchers' creative ideas by continually searching for the best answer to the world's unmet medical needs.

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