Osaka University and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Otsuka) signed a comprehensive collaboration agreement for advanced research in immunology between the Osaka University Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFReC) and Otsuka. This agreement allows researchers at IFReC to focus on original basic research areas and, with Otsuka, to develop innovative new treatments therefore contributing back to society with the results of their advanced immunology research.
IFReC was selected for the World Premier International Research Center (WPI) Initiative Program initiated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in 2007 and launched at Osaka University in October of the same year as a research center in immunology. Led by Director Shizuo Akira, an eminent immunologist, IFReC brings together around 170 of the world's leading investigators in the fields of immunology, live imaging and bioinformatics from Japan and across the world to conduct innovative immunological research. The center provides an international environment coupled with excellent research facilities, making it possible to pursue leading-edge research. IFReC researchers publish in internationally renowned academic journals to high acclaim including the award of several prestigious international prizes.
Guided by our corporate philosophy, Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide, Otsuka is committed to improving the health and well-being of patients and consumers through "treating diseases" and "promoting daily health". As a total healthcare company, Otsuka continues to focus on creating creative and innovative products. In order to address unmet needs in medicine, we focus our research on central nervous system disorders and oncology, and also develop treatments in cardiovascular, infectious, ophthalmological, and dermatological disease fields.
According to the agreement, Otsuka will have access to information regarding results of independent basic research projects at IFReC. Although Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., which signed a prior agreement has the right of first refusal on joint research projects and intellectual property. Otsuka can discuss future joint research with IFReC, and receive disclosure about future patent rights in immunology from Osaka University. As part of this agreement, Otsuka will contribute to the research activity expenses of IFReC for a period of 10 years.