EFPIA Japan | A drug's journey / 1.Basic research

The journey of a pharmaceutical product

1. Basic research

  • Pharma companies conduct researches to discover new drug candidate substances and new compounds which have potential to be new treatment options. Most of the researches require 2 to 3 years. Also, there are researches to identify yet-to-be-defined mechanisms of diseases, therefore, not necessarily all the researches directly lead to new drugs. These researches to discover a seed for a new drug are like looking for a piece of diamond on the bottom of the deep ocean. The wide range of basic research and drug development research could become the base in identifying several million candidate substances. After development of a screening method, the candidates are narrowed down to several substances which can move on to the next step. Through these processes, new drugs will be launched.
  • There are two types of research, collaborative research and sponsored research, where pharmaceutical companies and others provide funding support.
    The research is conducted after an official contract is exchanged with universities and others.
    Collaborative research: (Joint research expenses in the JPMA Transparency Guideline)
    Investigators from research institutions such as universities and pharmaceutical companies and others conduct a research cooperatively.
    Sponsored research: (Research commissioning expenses in the JPMA Transparency Guideline)
    Sponsors such as pharmaceutical companies entrust research institutions such as universities to conduct the research, where accomplishments are reported to the sponsors.