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In September of 2016, Otsuka Pharmaceutical and RIKEN opened the RIKEN CDB-Otsuka Pharmaceutical Collaboration Center (COCC) inside the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (RIKEN CDB), which is located in the city of Kobe.
The COCC will be involved in collaborative developmental biology and regenerative medicine research projects with the goal of investigating disease mechanisms and discovering new drugs and therapeutic applications. The purpose of the COCC is not only to make new discoveries through such collaborative research projects, but also to train the next generation of scientists by hosting joint seminars and offering opportunities for personnel exchange.
In connection with the opening of the COCC, the first steering committee meeting was held on September 6 at Otsuka in Tokushima to discuss the Center's plans for collaborative research, information exchange, and personnel exchange. The RIKEN CDB Director, Hiroshi Hamada, M.D., Ph.D., presented a brief overview of RIKEN and the research in which it has been involved, and the RIKEN CDB Team Leader, Minoru Takasato, Ph.D., gave a presentation on kidney regeneration research using human-derived cells, which led to an animated discussion with Otsuka researchers.
RIKEN CDB is a world-class research institution for basic research in the field of developmental biology and regenerative medicine. RIKEN has recently become known for its participation in the first clinical research in the world on the use of iPS cells in age-related macular degeneration, which has become an increasingly common cause of blindness in recent years.
The COCC will be involved in joint research projects aimed at developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and kidney diseases, which have been important areas of research for Otsuka.