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Tokyo Institute of Technology and Astellas Launch Collaborative Research for New Anti-Dengue Virus Drugs for Neglected Tropical

  Tokyo Institute of Technology and Astellas Launch Collaborative Research for
  New Anti-Dengue Virus Drugs for Neglected Tropical Diseases

    -IT drug-discovery research through use of Tokyo Tech's Supercomputer
                                 TSUBAME2.0 -

Business Wire

TOKYO -- March 21, 2013

Tokyo Institute of Technology ("Tokyo Tech"; Tokyo, Japan; President: Yoshinao
Mishima) and Astellas Pharma Inc. ("Astellas")(TOKYO:4503)(President and CEO:
Yoshihiko Hatanaka) today announced that they have signed a joint research
agreement for drug discovery research utilizing Tokyo Tech's TSUBAME2.0
supercomputer to efficiently discover candidates for the treatment of
neglected tropical diseases ("NTDs") caused by dengue virus.

NTDs, prevalent mainly among the poor in tropical areas of developing
countries, are infectious diseases spread by parasites or bacteria. As it is
estimated that approximately one billion people are affected with NTDs
worldwide, NTDs are a serious healthcare issue that is being addressed on a
global scale. Among them, diseases caused by dengue virus, such as dengue
fever/dengue hemorrhagic fever are with high unmet medical needs for treatment
and development of new therapeutic drugs. There is no existing drug to treat
dengue fever/dengue hemorrhagic fever in the market as well as under
development, and the effectiveness of some vaccines to prevent dengue virus
currently under development is unclear at this time.

Under the collaborative agreement, Tokyo Tech which has cutting-edge
computation technique, and Astellas will cooperate on an IT drug-discovery
research project for the treatment of NTDs caused by dengue virus. The
research will be conducted in collaboration with a research group led by
Professor Yutaka Akiyama, Dr.Eng., at the Department of Computer Science in
the Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering, with a proven
track record in the field of bioinformatics research, and Associate Professor
Masakazu Sekijima, Ph.D., at the Global Scientific Information and Computing
Center, with a proven track record in the field of computational chemistry
The collaborative research is largely divided into two phases. In the first
step, data mining of public information such as patents and published articles
will be carried out to obtain useful and effective knowledge about the drug
discovery for the treatments for diseases caused by dengue virus. In the
second step, in-silico screening will be performed to identify compounds which
are predicted to have anti-dengue virus activities. Tokyo Tech boasts Japan's
first petaflop class supercomputer TSUBAME2.0, and will assume responsibility
for data mining and for in-silico screening calculations of commercially
available compounds. Astellas will be responsible for preparing input data for
data mining, selecting, and listing of hit compounds to be evaluated based on
the in-silico screening calculations, thereby implementing efficient drug
discovery in a short time period.

Tokyo Tech and Astellas will work together to accelerate the discovery of new
drugs for patients suffering from dengue fever/dengue hemorrhagic fever in the
world, through their collaborative research aiming to contribute to improve
global public health problems.
Also, Tokyo Tech and Astellas signed a joint research agreement for drug
discovery research utilizing Tokyo Tech's TSUBAME2.0 supercomputer to
efficiently discover candidates for the treatment of NTDs caused by protozoan
parasites on July 30, 2012.


Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech)
Tokyo Institute of Technology established as Tokyo Technical School in 1881,
became Tokyo Technical High School in 1929, and then acquired the university
status in 1929. Tokyo Tech is the largest national university of science and
technology in Japan with a 130 year history. The creative education at Tokyo
Tech has resulted in fostering a great number of excellent alumni, including
Dr. Hideki Shirakawa, Nobel laureate in chemistry, and in sending them to
science fields and Japanese major companies which have helped support Japan's
economy. Tokyo Tech has three schools (Science, Engineering, and Bioscience
and Biotechnology), six graduate schools (Science and Engineering, Bioscience
and Biotechnology, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and
Engineering, Information Science and Engineering, Decision Science and
Technology and Innovation Management), five research laboratories under the
Integrated Research Institute, and numerous other Research and Service
Centers. For further information on Tokyo Tech please see the university
website at

Astellas Pharma Inc. (Astellas)
Astellas' raison d'etre is to contribute toward improving the health of people
around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable
pharmaceutical products. Astellas has approximately 17,000 employees
worldwide. The organization is committed to becoming a global category leader
in Urology, Immunology (including Transplantation) and Infectious Diseases,
Oncology, Neuroscience and DM Complications and Kidney Diseases. For more
information on Astellas Pharma Inc., please visit the company website at

TSUBAME2.0 supercomputer
TSUBAME2.0 is a production supercomputer operated by Global Scientific
Information and Computing Center (GSIC), Tokyo Institute of Technology in
corporation with our industrial partners, including NEC, HP, NVIDIA, Microsoft
among others. Since Fall 2010, it has been one of the fastest and greenest
supercomputers in the world, boasting 2.4 PFlops peak performance by
aggressive GPU acceleration, which allows scientists to enjoy significantly
faster, larger computing than ever. This is the second instantiation of our
TSUBAME-series supercomputers with the first being, as you might guess,
TSUBAME1. It also employed various cutting-edge HPC acceleration technologies,
such as ClearSpeed and NVIDIA GPUs, where we had learned many important
technical lessons that eventually played a crucial role in designing and
constructing our latest supercomputer. Compared to its predecessor, TSUBAME2,
while keeping its power consumption nearly the same as before, achieves 30x
performance boost by inheriting and further enhancing the successful
architectural designs.


Tokyo Institute of Technology
PR Center
Tel: +81-3-5734-2975
Fax: +81-3-5734-3661
Astellas Pharma Inc.
Corporate Communications
Tel: +81-3-3244-3201
Fax: +81-3-5201-7473
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