The Genome Drug Discovery Forum was founded by Dr. Teruhisa Noguchi (President) and Dr. Kenichi Arai (Vice President) in 1998. Much recent research has involved global analysis of genome expression profiling, identification of disease-related genomic polymorphisms, and/or proteomics analysis of protein expression and 3D structure. The first forum involved participants from academia and industry in a discussion of how to incorporate those outcomes into drug discovery.
In 2013, Dr. Kenichi Arai broadened the forum’s activity not only horizontally in global genomic analysis, but also vertically into therapeutic fields. For example, we needed clearer strategies in cancer therapeutic research, which required identification of the most suitable molecular targets, a better understanding of the mechanism(s) of adverse drug effects, and the ability to diagnostically distinguish responders from non-responders. To this end, the forum extended its discussion network to incorporate drug companies conducting clinical drug development, and medical device development companies, hospitals, and medical workers. The forum temporarily terminated these activities in November 2018 after Dr. Arai passed away.
Nonetheless, the provision of forums where participants from academia and industry could get together to discuss the most advanced science in an open atmosphere can have a significant positive impact on innovation. Currently, the integration of genome science and information science is becoming critical. Now is an opportune time to offer in demand discussion opportunities by inviting information science experts in academia and industry.
Therefore, we organized a new consortium, the Genome Drug Discovery & Emergence (so-hatsu) Forum, which renews most aspects of the preexisting forum in April 2019. So-hatsu refers to the overall result exceeding the expected outcome. Applied to the new forum, “Emergence” conveys the expectation of synergy from bringing together innovative experts from many fields from both academia and industry.
The forum organizes scientific symposia three times a year. We select each theme through active communication with drug researchers in industry and medical researchers in academia. We create opportunities to share promising research outcomes that may lead to innovative drug discoveries. We also urge discussion and interaction among participants in academia and industry to support drug discovery tomorrow. The support and cooperation of academia and industry are critical.
Dr. Kouji Matsushima serves as president and represents the board members. The major disease areas the forum focuses on include cancer, inflammation, and immunological disorders, and we hope to steadily expand our areas of activity.