Pharmaceutical Research Laboratory

Pharmaceutical Research Laboratory
Description of Research

A major objective of the Pharmaceutical Research Laboratory is to discover pharmaceuticals that promise to be beneficial to society, and realize the market release of proprietary drugs. UBE carries out new drug research on its own as well as jointly with pharmaceutical companies under a collaborative framework. In both cases, the laboratory sets specific research goals to rapidly develop candidate compounds and realize results, in order to expand the pipeline through the successive development of new drugs.

In independent research, UBE is aiming to achieve commercialization through licensing our achievements to major pharmaceutical companies in and outside of Japan. Collaborative research is followed by joint development with partner companies, aiming for marketing approval and commercialization.

In Japan, UBE has successfully obtained approval for and brought to market the antiallergic agent Talion® and the antihypertensive agent Calblock®. The antiplatelet agent Effient®, which UBE co-developed with Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd., has been launched worldwide by Daiichi Sankyo and Eli Lilly and Company. UBE actively pursues independent research, efficiently advancing new drug research to identify candidate compounds based upon the efforts of the Medicinal Chemistry Group, Project Management Group, Pharmacology Group and Drug Discovery DMPK Group.

Information Disclosure on Research Ethics

Research Specialization

To deliver results in succession as quickly as possible and secure a portfolio of new drug research while improving the probability of success, emphasis is placed on selectively choosing appropriate research projects, and the rapid and dynamic pursuit of research combined with training, guidance, and self-improvement of individual researchers. While pharmaceutical research and development could be considered typically to be associated with long-term timeframes and uncertainty, it actually requires instantaneous power in addition to perseverance. For example, think of a runner in many short races one after another in a long race that must produce results each time. UBE is efficiently advancing new drug research with finding solutions to research projects, by bringing unparalleled speed and mobility to these efforts.

Human Resource Needs and Applicable Fields of Study

New drug research entails diverse fields ranging from organic chemistry and pharmacology to molecular biology, making it unrealistic to expect students to master all the required knowledge and technology. Therefore, it is crucial for researchers to learn on the job in order to advance highly sophisticated and specialized research.

While it is important to have research experience or possess highly specialized technology or knowledge, UBE emphasizes the hiring of human resources who have the capability and willingness to continue learning on the job. For example, the Medicinal Chemistry Group has many researchers from diverse backgrounds including science, engineering, and chemistry, while many members of the Pharmacology Group come from backgrounds other than the pharmaceutical sciences. Additionally, there are many opportunities for international work and thus demand for human resources with an interest in learning English.

Research Direction

The pharmaceutical industry is intensely and endlessly competitive, as seen in the mergers and acquisitions among major pharmaceutical companies in and outside of Japan. UBE must enhance its mobility and accelerate its speed in the research of new drug to succeed at competition in an increasingly dynamic environment. To address these challenges, UBE is strengthening its collaborative research with major pharmaceutical companies, in addition to carefully selecting appropriate research projects in its independent research. Furthermore, UBE is working to enhance its activities to develop new drug research by both raising the level of drug design abilities and organic synthesis capabilities and improving its bioassay technology.


The working atmosphere at the laboratory is conducive to open discussion among everyone from newer staff to experienced researchers. Staff are encouraged to attend academic conferences and study sessions in and outside of Japan, and they have the opportunity to study abroad in order to expand their knowledge. The laboratory provides a mutually stimulating environment for researchers, to facilitate their personal growth.