SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Stackify Blog, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

News Feed Item

University of Tokyo's RCAST, Fujitsu, and Kowa Successfully Create Promising New Compounds to Fight Drug-Resistant Cancer



Use IT-based drug discovery to develop effective compounds

TOKYO, June 13, 2018 - (JCN Newswire) - The University of Tokyo's Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), Fujitsu Limited, and Kowa Company Ltd. today announced that using IT-based drug discovery technologies, which entails computer-based virtual design and evaluation, they have successfully created new small molecule compounds that can inhibit cancer-causing "target proteins," and that demonstrate promise against cancers that have shown resistance to existing drugs. In order to link the results of this research to the creation of new drugs, Kowa intends to improve upon the small molecule compounds discovered through this research.

Details of the Research and the Division of Responsibilities

Fujitsu and RCAST began joint research on IT-based drug discovery in June 2011, with Kowa joining in July, conducting research projects around multiple drug discovery targets. This particular joint research project began in December 2015, selecting a drug-resistant oncogenic protein as a drug discovery target. Fujitsu used IT-based drug discovery to design a small molecule compound that featured inhibitory activity(1), and then Kowa synthesized the compound and assessed its inhibitory activity in experiments. RCAST took on the role of providing information on drug discovery targets based from a medical perspective. Fujitsu and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. additionally made repeated improvements to the IT-based drug discovery technologies during the course of the joint research project, increasing both accuracy and performance.

Results of the Joint Research

In this joint research, Fujitsu leveraged its proprietary technologies to provide Kowa with chemical structures with the anticipated effect of decreasing the activities of the target protein. Specifically, Fujitsu incorporated drug candidate compound design technology(2) and the drug discovery insights it has previously accumulated, and designed synthetic accessible small molecule compounds using computers. Next, the binding affinity of each compound with the target protein is calculated to narrow down the selection using the M2BAR method(3), which is an improvement on high precision activity prediction technology(4). Fujitsu also took into consideration the results of high precision conformational analysis(5) based on quantum mechanics. Kowa synthesized the small molecule compounds designed by Fujitsu, and confirmed that some of the compounds demonstrated the inhibitory activity desired for drug candidates. Kowa subsequently synthesized multiple small molecule compounds sharing similar chemical structures, and confirmed that a series of the synthesized compounds also showed inhibitory activity. Kowa is currently evaluating the complex structure of these compounds using X-ray crystallography, and plans to optimize the small molecule compounds obtained from this research to reflect the results to the discovery of new drugs. Through this joint research project, RCAST, Fujitsu, and Kowa have succeeded in using IT-based drug discovery to create new small molecule compounds with inhibitory activity against cancer-causing target proteins, and may one day prove effective even against cancers that show resistance to existing drugs.

(1) Inhibitory activity The degree to which a compound binds to a protein thought to cause a specific disease indication and inhibits the function of the protein. Usually expressed in terms of the concentration of the compound.
(2) Drug candidate compound design technology Optimum Packing of Molecular Fragments (OPMF), a software module developed by Fujitsu that designs small molecule compounds that bind to the functional site of proteins that are believed to cause specific disease indications and inhibit the activity of the proteins.
(3) M2BAR A computational method developed by Fujitsu Laboratories for rapidly and accurately predicting the quantitative activity of a compound using multiple binding patterns.
(4) High-precision activity prediction technology Software developed by Fujitsu Laboratories, comprised of MAPLECAFEE, a module that, based on molecular dynamics calculations, predicts the inhibitory activity of drug candidate compounds with a high level of precision that is equivalent to that of biochemical assays, and Force Field Formulator for Organic Molecules (FF-FOM), a module that generates highly detailed parameters for calculating the forces between atoms.
(5) Conformational analysis A method of analyzing the relationship between a compound's conformation (three-dimensional structure) and its potential energy.

About Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology

Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) aims to contribute to the development of science and technology by expeditiously taking on new challenges arising from the advancement of science and coincident changes in society, and by exploring new areas of advanced science and technology for the benefit of humankind and society. Find out more at http://www.rcast.u-tokyo.ac.jp.

About Kowa

Kowa Company, Ltd. is a private multinational company headquartered in Nagoya, Japan. Established in 1894, Kowa has been actively engaging in multidiscipline business including pharmaceuticals, textiles, machinery, and construction material fields. Its pharmaceutical division is focused on research and development for cardiovascular therapeutics, ophthalmology and anti-inflammatory agents. For more information, please see http://www.kowa.co.jp/eng.

About Fujitsu Ltd

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 155,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$40 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.

* Please see this press release, with images, at:
http://www.fujitsu.com/global/about/resources/news/press-releases/

Source: Fujitsu Ltd

Contact:
Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
Public Relations Ikuko Murayama
E-mail: [email protected]

Fujitsu Limited
Public and Investor Relations
Tel: +81-3-3215-5259
URL: www.fujitsu.com/global/news/contacts/




Copyright 2018 JCN Newswire . All rights reserved.

More Stories By ACN Newswire

Copyright 2008 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of ACN Newswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of ACN Newswire. ACN Newswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get tailored market studies; and more.
While a hybrid cloud can ease that transition, designing and deploy that hybrid cloud still offers challenges for organizations concerned about lack of available cloud skillsets within their organization. Managed service providers offer a unique opportunity to fill those gaps and get organizations of all sizes on a hybrid cloud that meets their comfort level, while delivering enhanced benefits for cost, efficiency, agility, mobility, and elasticity.
Kubernetes as a Container Platform is becoming a de facto for every enterprise. In my interactions with enterprises adopting container platform, I come across common questions: - How does application security work on this platform? What all do I need to secure? - How do I implement security in pipelines? - What about vulnerabilities discovered at a later point in time? - What are newer technologies like Istio Service Mesh bring to table?In this session, I will be addressing these commonly asked ...
The KCSP program is a pre-qualified tier of vetted service providers that offer Kubernetes support, consulting, professional services and training for organizations embarking on their Kubernetes journey. The KCSP program ensures that enterprises get the support they're looking for to roll out new applications more quickly and more efficiently than before, while feeling secure that there's a trusted and vetted partner that's available to support their production and operational needs.
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It's clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Th...
When you're operating multiple services in production, building out forensics tools such as monitoring and observability becomes essential. Unfortunately, it is a real challenge balancing priorities between building new features and tools to help pinpoint root causes. Linkerd provides many of the tools you need to tame the chaos of operating microservices in a cloud native world. Because Linkerd is a transparent proxy that runs alongside your application, there are no code changes required. I...
xMatters helps enterprises prevent, manage and resolve IT incidents. xMatters industry-leading Service Availability platform prevents IT issues from becoming big business problems. Large enterprises, small workgroups, and innovative DevOps teams rely on its proactive issue resolution service to maintain operational visibility and control in today's highly-fragmented IT environment. xMatters provides toolchain integrations to hundreds of IT management, security and DevOps tools. xMatters is the ...
With the rise of Docker, Kubernetes, and other container technologies, the growth of microservices has skyrocketed among dev teams looking to innovate on a faster release cycle. This has enabled teams to finally realize their DevOps goals to ship and iterate quickly in a continuous delivery model. Why containers are growing in popularity is no surprise — they’re extremely easy to spin up or down, but come with an unforeseen issue. However, without the right foresight, DevOps and IT teams may lo...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
Between the mockups and specs produced by analysts, and resulting applications built by developers, there exists a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral, and applications disappoint. Methodologies like Agile attempt to address this with intensified communication, with partial success but many limitations. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Charles Kendrick, CTO at Isomorphic Software, presented a revolutionary model enabled by new technologies. Learn how business and develop...
"There is a huge interest in Kubernetes. People are now starting to use Kubernetes and implement it," stated Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, will discuss how to use Kubernetes to setup a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace....
Today most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes significant work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reducti...