Currently in Japan, it’s already been a week in Asia. Time goes by very quickly with 3 days of events, many appointments, visits from potential partners, a visit to the Kobe biopark and JETRO, and work appointments with our privileged partner, AS ONE.
The 3 days in IDDST 2023 events in Tokyo were very surprising since it was not focused on a specific subject such as Drug Discovery as its name would suggest (International Drug Discovery Science and Technology) but was very multidisciplinary (formulation, clinical development, basic research, toxicology, metabolism, medicinal chemistry, immunotherapy, cell and gene therapy). Having worked in drug discovery for more than 20 years, I really have the impression that we are living a complete upheaval.
For me, target-based screening and the small molecules will soon be behind us to move towards more complex in vitro or in silico models, and also more complex drugs such as biologicals (mRNA, peptides, antibodies) up to the complex cell (cell therapy) for the search for new treatments. However, many researchers still cling to this outdated model. Cell and gene therapy seem to be booming, but still with many brakes. In this event, I didn’t see a lot of innovation but rather 2 different areas, the old and the new, which seek and define each other. This promises great upheavals in perspective with a glorious future in this new area for young researchers.
During this event, I also had the opportunity to present BIOMIMESYS technology and all its potential to move towards more complex in vitro models integrating not only the cells but also their microenvironment, and in particular the extra-cellular matrix in an organ-specific way. This new technology has been very appreciated with many questions, exchanges and positive feedbacks.
The week continued with visits from potential partners/customers, visit and discussion with our partner AS ONE in a friendly atmosphere.
The week ended with a visit to the Biopark in Kobe where they set up a particularly interesting ecosystem in the context of cell therapy / regenerative medicine with the gathering of all the actors in the field, whether they are public actors (academic research, hospitals) but also private actors. It covers the full spectrum, from the incubation/acceleration stage of start-ups (with common microbiology laboratories and L2 cell culture laboratories), to SMEs and large groups. The business trip continues in Japan with a visit to JETRO Tokyo to go further finding partners in Japan especially in the field of cell therapy / regenerative medicine.
Nice to experience such amazing discussions in Japan, with great partners. Next step is in Taïwan! Keep updated.