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In vitro Diagnostics

Advantages of Kansai Region in Business Opportunities

The Kansai region, with its concentration of many inter-related companies, provides a large capacity for Japan’s manufacturing of test drugs and analytical instruments, 38.29% and 26.28%, respectively (in 2003). Because these different entities play significant roles in the region’s R&D and production activities, concentration of these industries represent a strong foundation on which to build a biotechnology cluster in the Kansai region.

A concentration of outstanding research organizations is present in the Kansai region in the area of in vitro diagnostics (including Kyoto University, Osaka University, and Kobe University) that generates active collaborations among industry, government, and academia. Particularly in Kobe (based on the network among the members of the Kobe Medical Industry Development Project), the Medical School of Kobe University, and a large regional manufacturer together funded a chair at Kobe University for clinical laboratory diagnostics in October 2004, which has resulted in maximizing the research, clinical applications, and human resource development generated from the strengths of industry, government, and academia working together. Also in Tokushima, the University of Tokushima, because it owns unique scientific facilities, such as the Institute for Enzyme Research, is engaged in the development and application of analytical technology in the fields of proteomics and genomics. Their prominence in these two areas will allow them to contribute eventually to accumulation of knowledge on preventive medicine and cost reduction for medical care.

Partnerships between business and academia have resulted in thriving R&D efforts and commercialization. A venture capital firm in Kyoto formed a consortium with academic research organizations at Kyoto University and other private companies to develop and commercialize a micro-HPLC for post-genomic analysis that could rapidly and simultaneously analyze a wide variety of infinitesimal proteins found in cells with high sensitivity. A start-up firm in Osaka conducted a joint study with Osaka University and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology to develop a test drug for ribbon-type decoy oligo-nucleotides that was better-tolerated with nucleolytic enzymes. In Kobe, as part of the Kobe Medical Industry Development Project, a major manufacturer donated a research division to the Foundation of Biomedical Research and Innovation, where scientists are engaged in a joint study to establish a new diagnostic technology to improve efficacy and safety of cellular therapies. Additionally, Tokushima enjoys a concentration of R&D laboratories as well as factories of the major pharmaceutical enterprise groups that are developing and manufacturing test drugs and other medical products.

In this region, universities, research organizations, corporations, and medical institutions are located relatively near each other. This proximity encourages the active exchange of ideas and challenges among staff and specialists, as well as academic-industrial alliances. You will find many organizations in the Kansai region that support dynamic business matching, practical applications, and commercialization of technical seeds. Many foreign and Kansai corporations have been successfully matched so far in the environment, where an alliance flourishes and is easily managed.

Current Projects and Initiatives


Formation of Health and Medical Cluster focused on health technology
  This project creates new businesses targeting diagnostic devices, foods possessing mild medicinal properties or health-promoting constituents,, and pharmaceuticals to address lifestyle-related diseases, particularly diabetes. These businesses would be concerned with technological development and application studies to analyze protein and genetic information related to the diseases, and to promote the formation of an internationally competitive regional cluster in this field.


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