Updated on 20 November 2015
Tokyo: Nagoya, Japan-based RaQualia Pharma Inc. and the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University have announced a joint research agreement for the discovery of small molecules to control the circadian rhythms of mammals.
This research project will be conducted amongst Professors Yasuhiro Iwata and Mikio Morita of RaQualia, and Professors Kenichiro Itami (Director), Tsuyoshi Hirota and Steve Kay (Principal Investigator, ITbM; President, The Scripps Research Institute) of ITbM.
The discovery of small molecules to control the circadian clock of mammals is one of the main research focuses of ITbM. Using a chemical genetic approach, Professor Itami (synthetic chemistry), Associate Professor Hirota (chronobiology) and Professor Kay (chronobiology) are developing compounds that can shorten or lengthen the circadian rhythm.
ITbM aims to discover ‘transformative bio-molecules' that will make pronounced advances in circadian clock research and improve the health of people. The circadian clock has a significant role in the sleep-wake rhythm along with daily control in the secretion of hormones and metabolic activity. As a consequence, disruption of the circadian rhythm is not only related with sleep disorders, obesity and other lifestyle diseases but may also induce mental disorders. Compounds that affect the circadian clock mechanism will be effective for controlling the function of the body clock and may potentially become pharmaceuticals to treat symptoms associated to the circadian clock disruption.
RaQualia Pharma is a research and development-based drug discovery company, which originates from Pfizer Inc.'s Research Laboratories in Japan. The company was founded in February 2008 and started its business in July 2008, by assuming a part of the former Research Laboratories' human resources, physical assets, and research and development portfolio.
RaQualia aims to create new pharmaceutical products focusing on medical fields where patients have the greatest need. RaQualia's primary emphasis is on discovery research and early clinical development of inflammatory and neuropathic pain and gastrointestinal diseases. RaQualia's unique business model of open collaboration with universities, public research institutions, pharmaceutical companies and venture businesses has driven the discovery and development of innovative new medicines.