Sep 14, 2023 10:09 JST

Source: NEC Corporation

NEC selected by AMED for design of a universal vaccine that is effective against influenza virus strains

TOKYO, Sep 14, 2023 - (JCN Newswire) - NEC Corporation (TSE: 6701) has been selected to participate in a vaccine/new modality research and development project beginning in FY2023. NEC was selected following its submission of a research project titled "Development of universal vaccine design technology using computational science" in response to a public call for proposals by the Strategic Center of Biomedical Advanced Vaccine Research and Development for Preparedness and Response (SCARDA), which operates under the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).

During this research project, NEC will utilize cutting-edge AI technologies in order to identify immunogenic regions that are effective against a wide range of influenza virus strains and to design a universal vaccine.


Research on universal vaccines that are broadly protective against mutating viruses are being conducted around the world in preparation for future pandemics. However, it is likely to take a considerable amount of time for universal vaccines to be put to practical use. As such, expectations are high for the utilization of AI and other computational science approaches to shorten the vaccine development period and reduce associated costs.

Specifically, in Japan, the "Strategy for Strengthening Vaccine Development and Production Systems" was formulated in June 2021 as part of a long-term national strategy to develop and produce vaccines domestically. Later, in March 2022, SCARDA was established within AMED for the purpose of strategically funding research to bolster R&D and production systems for vaccines.

With the vision of using in-house AI technology for designing universal vaccines, NEC submitted a proposal in response to SCARDA's public appeal and was selected for the program.

NEC Research Overview

In this research project, a universal vaccine will be designed for influenza using a proprietary computer analysis technology based on several state-of-the-art AI technologies. Specifically, the genomic and genetic information of influenza viruses will be analyzed to search for and identify immunogenic regions, and verification tests will be conducted. NEC will then aim to design a vaccine based on these results within a year of the project initiation and to obtain a non-clinical PoC in the near future.

This research and development will be carried out in collaboration with specially appointed professor Keiko Udaka of Kochi University.

Future Plans

This research will move forward using cutting-edge AI and computational science to identify protein regions that are effective for vaccine designs. Moreover, NEC will utilize these research results to develop and put to practical use universal vaccines in collaboration with other partners having modality in order to effectively deliver benefits to patients.

"We are pleased that our proposal has been selected by SCARDA for the development of universal vaccine design technology through industry-government-academia collaboration. Amid expectations for the early development of vaccines, computational science, including AI technologies, is extremely important and can drive meaningful advances within the pharmaceutical industry. Going forward, NEC will continue contributing to global health and the provision of better vaccines by utilizing cutting-edge technologies," said Masamitsu Kitase, Corporate Senior VP and Head of the Healthcare and Life Science Division at NEC Corporation.

"Having worked together with NEC for many years on the development of a peptide immunotherapy for malignant tumors, I am truly looking forward to partnering with the company on the development of a universal vaccine for the influenza virus through this SCARDA program," said Keiko Udaka, M.D., Ph.D., specially appointed professor, Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Kochi University. "I anticipate that AI and ICT will contribute to not only better vaccine development but also preemptive measures aimed at containing pandemics."

About NEC Corporation

NEC Corporation has established itself as a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies while promoting the brand statement of "Orchestrating a brighter world." NEC enables businesses and communities to adapt to rapid changes taking place in both society and the market as it provides for the social values of safety, security, fairness and efficiency to promote a more sustainable world where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential. For more information, visit NEC at

Source: NEC Corporation
Sectors: Healthcare & Pharm

Copyright ©2024 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.

Related Press Release

Celonis and NEC begin Proof of Concept Integrating Generative AI and Process Intelligence
May 28 2024 19:20 JST
NEC X Invests in Agtech Startup Verdi, Integrates AI-Powered Platform with NEC's Cropscope Smart Farming Initiative
May 23 2024 10:20 JST
NEC Leverages RISE with SAP and AI to Build Business AI in Move to the Cloud
May 17 2024 10:19 JST
NEC X Invests in Public Safety Startup Multitude Insights, Scaling AI-Powered Collaboration and Information Sharing for Law Enforcement
May 08 2024 09:24 JST
NEC Develops High-speed Generative AI Large Language Models (LLM) with World-class Performance
April 24 2024 12:25 JST
NEC Strengthens Commitment to Space Industry with Investment in Seraphim Space Venture Fund II
April 22 2024 14:09 JST
DOCOMO, NTT, NEC and Fujitsu Develop Top-level Sub-terahertz 6G Device Capable of Ultra-high-speed 100 Gbps Transmission
April 11 2024 14:10 JST
Transgene and NEC Present First Clinical Benefits of Neoantigen Cancer Vaccine, TG4050, in Head & Neck Cancer at AACR 2024
April 10 2024 12:36 JST
NEC white paper proposes comprehensive process workflow for the application of AI-driven personalized cancer vaccines
April 08 2024 12:45 JST
NEC develops marketing strategy planning & effectiveness simulation technology using generative AI
March 25 2024 09:08 JST
More Press release >>

Latest Press Release

More Latest Release >>