Nov 13, 2020 09:19 JST

Source: Fujitsu Ltd

Fujitsu: Establishment of Joint Venture Aimed at the Development of Therapeutics for the Treatment of Coronavirus Disease


TOKYO, Nov 13, 2020 - (JCN Newswire) - PeptiDream Inc., a public Kanagawa-based biopharmaceutical company (TSE:4587), Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702), Mizuho Capital Co., Ltd. which is a consolidated subsidiary of Mizuho Financial Group, Inc., Takenaka Corporation and KISHIDA CHEMICAL CO., LTD. have agreed today to establish PeptiAID Inc., a joint venture company that will research and develop peptide therapeutics capable of neutralizing both the current SARS-CoV-2 virus (Coronavirus Disease "COVID-19") and potentially any future Coronavirus ("CoV") outbreaks that may occur.

With the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic posing an unprecedented global challenge, there is a significant need for efficacious therapeutics for this disease. The public has high expectations for a slate of new vaccines, however, even with an effective vaccine against COVID-19, the existence of effective therapeutic agents will be indispensable to the proper control of the disease going forward. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly paramount to prepare for any future CoV pandemics that may occur, in addition to the current COVID-19. PeptiDream has been applying its proprietary Peptide Discovery Platform System "PDPS" technology in a multi-pronged strategy toward identifying peptide candidates targeting different sites/regions of the CoV viral "spike" protein, which is essential for coronavirus to enter human cells. Concurrently, PeptiDream has been in discussions with a number of potential discovery and development partners from both industry and academia around the fastest development routes. In the midst of this global public health emergency, companies from all industries, outside of the pharmaceutical industry, have come to recognize a common social mission, and have looked for ways to contribute in this global fight against COVID-19.

PeptiDream, Fujitsu, Mizuho Capital, Takenaka Corporation and KISHIDA CHEMICAL share this common social mission and believe that rapidly developing effective therapeutics for COVID-19 is of the utmost importance. As such, the five companies have agreed to establish PeptiAID aimed at the rapid development of therapeutics to treat the current COVID-19 and any future CoV diseases. PeptiAID, will obtain PeptiDream's COVID-19 candidate compounds, and strive to rapidly complete preclinical studies and advance them into clinical testing. In addition to fully leveraging PeptiDream's accumulated expertise and know-how in macrocyclic peptides and drug discovery, PeptiAID will harness Fujitsu's high-performance computing (HPC) technologies, as well as its Digital Annealer, a quantum-inspired computing architecture that rapidly solves combinatorial optimization problems, to further accelerate the relevant studies. Furthermore, PeptiAID will aim to shorten development times by running many of the early studies in parallel. PeptiAID will look to partner with regional pharmaceutical companies to further expedite late stage clinical testing, development, and commercialization efforts.

PeptiAID Overview

Name: PeptiAID Inc.
Establishment: October 2020
Headquarter: 3-25-23, Tonomachi , Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa, Japan
Representative: Keiichi Masuya, Ph.D. (current Executive Vice President of PeptiDream)
Capital: 599 million Japanese yen (projection as of 31/12/2020)
Ownership: PeptiDream 25.0%, Fujitsu 25.0%, Mizuho Capital 24.9%, Takenaka Corporation16.7%, KISHIDA CHEMICAL 8.3% (projection as of 31/12/2020)

Comment from Keiichi Masuya, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, PeptiDream

"I would like to express my deepest respect to four companies for their great supports in a moment of global crisis like the present, which I also find is a sobering reminder of the importance of accomplishing this common social mission across industries. Since April 2020 when PeptiDream's efforts to discover therapeutics for the treatment of Coronavirus Disease was announced publicly, a number of peptide candidate compounds have been successfully obtained and now at PeptiAID, we are determined to do our best to advance preclinical and early-stage clinical developments in the shortest possible time. Furthermore, we will strive to bring the therapeutics for the treatment of Coronavirus Disease to the market as early as possible, exploring possible collaboration with pharmaceutical companies with strong expertise in late-stage clinical development in relevant regions."

Comments from Izumi Nagahori, Head of Digital Software & Solutions Business Group, Global Solutions Business, Fujitsu

"Fujitsu's Purpose is to make the world more sustainable by building trust in society through innovation. We are very pleased to play a role in this venture, which exemplifies our commitment to these values, and allows Fujitsu to contribute further to the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to accelerate the discovery of drug candidates for the treatment of COVID in joint research with PeptiDream, leveraging our unique technologies like the Digital Annealer and supercomputers. Ultimately, we aim to establish a new foundation for the drug discovery process for the New Normal era through the power of digital transformation."

Comments from Yusuke Omachi, President, Mizuho Capital

"Amid growing demand for advanced medical technology centered on infectious diseases due to the COVID-19 pandemic, "Mizuho Life Science Fund No.1 Limited Partnership" was established in January 2020 for 5 billion yen in order to strengthen financial support for innovation companies working on the development of advanced medical care; subsequently, the Fund was expanded to 10 billion yen in June 2020. While the early development of radical therapeutic agent for COVID-19 is an urgent issue, the establishment of PeptiAID Inc has great social significance. We, Mizuho, take an equity stake through Life Science Fund as the only financial institution in the "All Japan Project", which is constituted of five domestic private companies. In addition, we practice "Open & Connect", which is an action agenda of five-year management plan; through this, as whole group, we offer financial support and reinforce business development as a strategic partner. It is our earnest hope that the effective therapeutic agent for COVID-19 would be delivered to medical sites at the earliest possible date, and we sincerely hope that we could make a contribution to realize it."

Comments from Masato Sasaki, President, Takenaka Corporation

"Together with using our group's comprehensive capabilities to contribute to "urban creation" so that people can live safely and with peace of mind, Takenaka aims to deepen dialog with society and stakeholders, and realize a sustainable society by solving societal problems. Amid the growing need of therapeutics for infectious diseases worldwide, PeptiDream's high aspirations for development of therapeutics as well as this new company's intention to solve the problems facing the world today through the knowledge and technologies of its investors will contribute to the realization of cities and societies where people can live safely and securely. This is why we have decided to participate in this project."

Comments from Mitsuhiro Kishida, President, KISHIDA CHEMICAL

"We have been working to position the services that support drug discovery research at Japanese pharmaceutical companies as one of our important businesses for about 20 years.We are pleased to support the new company that undertakes the drug development of COVID-19 with a high aim and company-wide efforts. We sincerely hope that the drugs being developed in the new company will reach patients as soon as possible and people around the world will be able to return to their normal lives without anxiety."

About PeptiDream

PeptiDream Inc. is a public (Tokyo Stock Exchange 1st Section 4587) biopharmaceutical company founded in 2006 employing our proprietary Peptide Discovery Platform System (PDPS), a state-of-the-art highly versatile discovery platform which enables the production of highly diverse (trillions) non-standard peptide libraries with high efficiency, for the identification of highly potent and selective hit candidates, which then can be developed into peptide-based or small molecule-based therapeutics. PeptiDream aspires to be a world leader in drug discovery and development to address unmet medical needs and improve the quality of life of patients worldwide. For further information, please visit www.peptidream.com.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 130,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 3.9 trillion yen (US$35 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. For more information, please see www.fujitsu.com.

About Mizuho Capital and Mizuho Financial Group

Mizuho Capital is an integral part of the Japan-based Mizuho Financial Group, Inc.(TSE:8411), one of the largest financial institutions in the world, offering comprehensive financial and strategic services including private banking and venture capital through its subsidiaries. The group has over 900 offices and 60,000 employees worldwide in nearly 40 countries throughout the Americas, EMEA, and Asia. As of December 31, 2019, its total assets were $1.8 trillion. Learn more about Mizuho Financial Group at www.mizuho-fg.com.

About Takenaka Corporation

Takenaka Corporation is one of the largest architecture, engineering, and construction firms in Japan. With annual sales of $12 billion, 20 overseas offices, the largest construction R&D laboratory in the world and over 2,000 architects in the design department, Takenaka offers comprehensive services worldwide across the entire spectrum of space creation from site location and planning to design and construction as well as postcompletion services such as building maintenance. For more information, please see https://www.takenaka.co.jp/takenaka_e/.

About KISHIDA CHEMICAL

KISHIDA CHEMICAL was established in 1941, as a comprehensive manufacturer of reagents, we have expanded not only general reagent business, but also battery material business, drug discovery support business and life science business. And we have continuously grown as a fast and flexible company that can respond to a wide range of our customers' needs. Based on the slogan "All for Our Customer's Research and Development", we will continue to contribute to our customers' success in research and development through "Reliable Technology and Reliable Quality". For more information, please visit our website https://www.kishida.co.jp/english/

Source: Fujitsu Ltd
Sectors: Cloud & Enterprise, MedTech

Copyright ©2020 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.

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