Discovery and Preclinical Research Division

Tsukuba Area

Analyzing unmet medical needs and conducting basic research to discover innovative new drug candidates

The Discovery and Preclinical Research Division (Tsukuba Area) embraces the challenge of discovering new drug candidate compounds that are safe and show outstanding efficacy to fulfill unmet medical needs in the three areas of oncology, allergy/immunology, and urology. The Division is committed to a range of activities including target discovery, synthesis and analysis of physiochemical properties of compounds, exploring mechanism of action and evaluation of efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics. Researchers make the most of the advanced knowledge, experience, and cutting-edge technology which the company has accumulated in the fields of chemistry, biology, informatics, molecular design, pharmacokinetics and natural substances. Biomarker research is also being carried out to keep up with the emerging needs for personalized medicine.

Oncology field

As a specialty pharma in the field of oncology, Taiho Pharmaceutical is committed to creating anticancer drugs with diverse mechanisms of action. In the field of cancer metabolism, the Division harnesses the abundant experience and expertise that the company has accumulated in the development of UFT and TS-1, to discover highly potent anticancer agents with novel mechanisms of action.

In the area of molecular targeted drugs, the Division investigates cancer biology at the molecular level and integrates knowledge of medicinal chemistry and biomarker research with the goal of discovering novel anticancer drugs with a good safety profile that are highly effective and specific against particular cancers. At the same time, the Division works to establish state-of-the-art drug discovery platforms.

Allergy / immunology and urology fields

Focusing on future medical needs, the Division pursues innovative therapeutic drugs in the field of immunology, where most autoimmune diseases are still difficult to treat, and in the field of urology, an area of increasing needs in today’s aging societies. The Division embraces the challenge of elucidating and understanding complicated pathological mechanisms to identify novel targets and develop new drugs. Innovative technologies and novel ideas are exploited to reach the goal.

Tokushima Area

Bridging to clinical trials by assessing the efficacy and safety of new drug candidate compounds

A new compound produced in drug discovery research goes through preclinical studies using various cells, experimental animals and animal models to predict the effects and adverse reactions in humans. This step is followed by human clinical trials to evaluate medical efficacy and safety, which, if successful, indicate that the candidate has potential to contribute as a new drug. Regulatory authorities issue various guidelines and standards regarding these studies for clarifying drug safety, efficacy, and quality, all of which must be carried out in testing facilities that have been approved by the regulatory authorities.

The Discovery and Preclinical Research Division (Tokushima Area) has built up a wealth of reliable data by following good laboratory practice (GLP*) to conduct the testing required for pharmaceutical manufacturing and marketing approval applications submitted to Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency and other relevant authorities. The Division also pursues tie-ups with everyday practice settings to advance research aimed at uncovering additional indications, to promote proper drug use, and to conduct research to establish treatment regimens suited to individual patients which are highly effective with few side effects.

  1. GLP: A standardized set of best practices and principles for conducting preclinical laboratory studies