Industry, Government and Academia Jointly Establish a General Incorporated Association to Promote the Bioresource Business


Jointly Established by Kobe University, the City of Kobe, the Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation at Kobe, and Sysmex

Kobe University (Location: Kobe, Japan; President: Hiroshi Takeda), the city of Kobe (Location: Kobe, Japan; Mayor: Kizo Hisamoto), the Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation at Kobe (Location: Kobe, Japan; President: Tasuku Honjo) and Sysmex Corporation (HQ: Kobe, Japan; Chairman and CEO: Hisashi Ietsugu) announce the establishment of the BioResource Innovation Hub in Kobe (Location: Kobe, Japan; Representative Director: Kenji Tsujimoto; “BRIH-K”) as a general incorporated association formed through an industry–government–academia alliance.

Japan and other advanced countries are concerned about the social impact of increasing cases of cancer and dementia as their societies age. Addressing these issues calls for advances in preemptive medicine and personalized medicine, such as the early-stage diagnosis of disease, prediction of therapeutic efficacy, the search for biomarkers effective at diagnosing recurrence risk, and innovative drug discovery. To realize these new therapeutic and diagnostic methods at an early stage, efficient R&D is required, using biological specimens (“bioresources”) associated with clinical information. For example, expectations include personalized medicine using bioresources from patients with different gene information and other clinical backgrounds, as well as R&D on ultra-early-stage diagnosis and treatment using pre-symptomatic bioresources.

Against this backdrop, Kobe University established the BioResource Center within the Kobe University Hospital International Clinical Cancer Research Center in April 2019. Its aim is to provide a (hospital-adjacent) clinical biobank that would enable researchers and R&D companies within and outside Kobe University to easily utilize bioresources. To promote the use of bioresources gathered, analyzed and stored by the BioResource Center, Kobe University, the city of Kobe, the Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation at Kobe, and Sysmex collaborated to establish the BioResource Innovation Hub in Kobe in October 2019.

By sharing with the BioResource Center R&D needs related to new treatment and diagnostic methods obtained in market surveys by pharmaceutical companies and R&D institutions, BRIH-K intends to effectively accumulate bioresources with high value from an R&D perspective. In addition, in collaboration with Kobe University, BRIH-K will create a framework for utilizing bioresources, taking into consideration personal information protection and other ethical considerations. BRIH-K will also propose to R&D institutions the use of bioresources extracted from needs and ideas in clinical settings, centered on the Kobe University Hospital.

By dramatically increasing the utilization of bioresources in this way and creating an autonomous and persistent needs-driven* Kobe bioresource business, we intend to create innovative healthcare technologies and develop preventive healthcare that helps benefit patients. In addition, through this business we hope to give back to society through the kindness of patients and healthy people who support this venture.

Going forward, by collaborating with health and medical facilities in the Kobe region and companies participating in the Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster, we hope to strengthen ties between industry, government and academia, leveraging the advantages of Japan’s foremost biomedical cluster to foster innovation throughout Kobe.


Overview of the BioResource Innovation Hub in Kobe

Established: October 25, 2019
Location: Kobe International Conference Center, 6-9-1, Minatojima Nakamachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe
Activities: earching for R&D needs involving bioresources and ancillary clinical information, management of joint research, etc.

  • Kenji Tsujimoto, representative director
  • Masafumi Mieno, director
  • Masayoshi Murakami, director
  • Masato Fujisawa, auditor
  • Shuzo Tachibana, auditor

*     Needs-driven: Determining the needs of pharmaceutical companies, reagent companies, medical device manufacturers and research institutions, and accumulating strategically necessary sample data and clinical data.

Information contained in the press release is current as of the date of the announcement, but may be subject to change without prior notice.

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