Fukushima Translational Research Project Outline
The Fukushima Translational Research Project (Fukushima Project) was launched as part of the post-Great East Japan Earthquake reconstruction measures supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry’s (METI) FY2011 Third Supplementary Budget. It is an initiative that aims to both support the development of novel medical products, and promote the creation of new industry ventures by leveraging the cumulative achievements and technological expertise gained through numerous national METI projects associated with the biopharmaceutical industry.
In contrast to the ‘Bio Bank Project’, which aims to collect and preserve biological samples for provision to research institutions and similar organizations, the goal of the Fukushima Project is to maximize the utilization of rare and trace biological samples by facilitating optimal:
- Conversion into information
- Sample processing and production of pathological models
- Analytical technique development for ultratrace samples
In addition, the Fukushima Project also aims to develop systems designed to either evaluate the pharmacological action and/or toxicity of drugs, or identify and/or characterize novel disease markers using collected information, biological products, and developed analytical techniques.
The various resources (such as biological products and analytical information) generated by this project have been collectively termed ‘Fukushima Collections’. They include:
- Analytical information on comprehensive gene expression profile from human tumor tissues and cells, and healthy tissues from cynomolgus monkeys, as well as genome data, and data generated via pharmacological and/or toxicity assessments using cultured cells and animal models.
- Patient-derived tumor organoid (PDO) models and Patient-derived tumor xenograft (PDX) mouse models that retain their in vivo cancerous characteristics, and gene-overexpressing cell lines.
- The information on DNA and protein microarray system-based analyses of biological products and antibodies (approved/experimental). These represent the key technology for the ultratrace samples in the project.
We provide these information and products to pharmaceutical, inspection, and medical testing/IVD companies, as well as research institutions. We are also conducting contract research or collaboration using the Fukushima Collections and the analytical techniques.
By fostering a good understanding of the significance and usefulness of the Fukushima Collections, we aim to promote their development by both domestic and international pharmaceutical companies, research organizations, and other entities. In this way, we are committed to invigorating the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, and supporting both the improvement of healthy life of the people all over the world and the continued success of the Fukushima reconstruction effort.
Shinya Watanabe, Project Leader