The Pharmaceutical Research Laboratories, formerly known as the Basic Research Laboratories, was founded in 1962 and is positioned to develop unique products with high growth potential based on basic research. The Laboratories have yielded important results in various domains, allowing Toray to grow into new business areas. The company’s concentration switched to life sciences after that, and the name Pharmaceutical Research Laboratories was adopted in 1999 to reflect the company’s pharmaceutical objective better.
Innovative New Pharmaceuticals from Toray
Toray’s pharmaceutical research strategy of striving for “creative new pharmaceuticals” has resulted in world-leading revolutionary products developed by the Pharmaceutical Research Laboratories. For example, FERONTM has been used to treat hepatitis B/C and tumours like glioblastoma; DORNERTM has been used as the world’s first stable prostacyclin derivative oral preparation for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease and pulmonary hypertension and has also been granted marketing approval as CARELOADTM, an oral prolonged-release preparation with an innovative formulation; and REMITCHTM has been used as the world’s first stable prostacyclin derivative oral preparation for
Toray’s Drug Discovery Prospects in the Future
Pharmaceutical Research Laboratories has recently begun focusing on defeating ageing challenges and intractable illnesses as Toray develops its R&D capabilities to develop business in “life innovation.” As a result, neurological diseases (pain, itch, and neurodegenerative diseases) and kidney diseases, autoimmune disorders, and cancer have been identified as priority areas for drug discovery to develop new first-in-class drugs in synthesised pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals. We’re using our strengths in advanced synthetic organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry as an integrated science based on a thorough understanding of the living body, and biotechnology to achieve this goal (genetic, protein, and cell engineering). Furthermore, we are increasing our drug discovery capabilities by introducing fast-evolving Omics, imaging, and iPS cell technologies and bolstering translational research (e.g., validation of targets and discovery of biomarkers).
In addition, the newly formed Digital Life Science Group is focused on the development and application of AI/informatics technologies in a wide range of life science fields. The group is attempting to improve research efficiency through the automation of experimental image analytics and the use of AI for novel drug target identification and designing drugs through molecular simulation.
With our laboratory in San Francisco, we’re also working on establishing a global network, managing open innovation through collaboration with pharmaceutical companies, academia, and entrepreneurial ventures worldwide, and actively collaborating with the New Frontiers Research Laboratories to apply bio tools to drug discovery and find biomarkers.