Duke-NUS and Japan-based IPGaia announce partnership to accelerate innovation in drug discovery

  • Duke-NUS joins a list of elite academic institutions which are partnering with IPGaia, including the University of California San Diego and La Jolla Institute for Immunology from the United States of America, as well as Riken and Tokyo Medical and Dental University from Japan.
  • Agreement leverages breakthrough discoveries from Duke-NUS’ five signature research programmes and research-focused centres.

SINGAPORE, 7 November 2023 – Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS) and IPGaia, Inc. (IPG) have signed an agreement to jointly advance drug discovery and development from academia to industry, to bring the benefits of translational research to patients. Through this partnership, Duke-NUS will propose drug targets to IPG, which will, in turn, identify and develop lead compounds with the goal of licensing clinic-ready candidates to pharmaceutical companies.

The collaboration brings together IPG’s expertise in commercial research and development and its industry network with Duke-NUS’ strong capabilities in world-class discovery research in areas of global importance.  

Aligning with Singapore’s national focus to build a vibrant ecosystem for biomedical innovation, Duke-NUS’ five signature research programmes and its research centres focus on delivering innovative solutions to diseases including cancer, cardiometabolic, infectious and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as addressing healthcare challenges of national and global importance such as ageing, health services, and Artificial Intelligence.

The agreement with Duke-NUS is IPG’s sixth master agreement with academic partners around the world including the University of California San Diego and La Jolla Institute for Immunology from the United States of America, as well as Riken and Tokyo Medical and Dental University from Japan. Through these partnerships, IPG aims to accelerate the creation of innovative medicines and contribute to solving global social issues by reducing healthcare costs and expanding access to medicine. To fast-track the development of high-quality medicines that need to be delivered to patients facing unmet medical needs, IPG will invite global academia, pharmaceutical companies, and other entities to submit promising drug leads.

“We are delighted to welcome IPG to the Duke-NUS innovation ecosystem as we accelerate the development of new drugs to help improve the care of patients in Singapore and beyond,” said Associate Professor Christopher Laing, Vice-Dean for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Duke-NUS. “Duke-NUS’ highly entrepreneurial faculty have a strong track record of translating cutting-edge biomedical discoveries into therapeutic innovations that transform medicine and improve lives. But we can’t do it alone, and this collaboration provides a pathway for Duke-NUS discoveries to make their way to the clinic.”

“It is our great pleasure and honour to have this agreement with Duke-NUS which is one of the most prestigious institutes in the world,” said Yasu Yamaguchi, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of IPG.  “This enables IPG to access promising drug discovery seeds and to create highly innovative medicines efficiently.  In this sense, IPG moves forward to contributing to solve the global social issues such as high healthcare costs and to extend the healthy life expectancy.”    

About IPGaia, Inc.

IPG was established on October 26, 2021, as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Healthcare New Platform Fund where Whiz Partners Inc. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Atsushi Matsumura) has been the general partner. IPG will generate composition of matter patents for new chemical entities by conducting non-clinical research and development activities and make variety of transactions mainly with pharmaceutical companies. IPG has already concluded a comprehensive partnership agreement with Axcelead, Inc. and Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners, Inc. (https://ip-g.com/jp/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/0c91379ab46f05f47d691359e8e8c721.pdf). By collaborating among the parties to build a next stage drug discovery platform, it would be possible to generate high quality innovative pharmaceuticals in a shorter period of time and lower cost. As for the pharmaceutical industry, the trend of the horizontal division of labour business model would be more accelerating. IPG plays a role as a platformer for creating pre-clinical stage innovative new medicines.

About Duke-NUS Medical School

Duke-NUS is Singapore’s flagship graduate entry medical school, established in 2005 with a strategic, government-led partnership between two world-class institutions: Duke University School of Medicine and the National University of Singapore (NUS). Through an innovative curriculum, students at Duke-NUS are nurtured to become multi-faceted ‘Clinicians Plus’ poised to steer the healthcare and biomedical ecosystem in Singapore and beyond. A leader in ground-breaking research and translational innovation, Duke-NUS has gained international renown through its five signature research programmes and ten centres. The enduring impact of its discoveries is amplified by its successful Academic Medicine partnership with Singapore Health Services (SingHealth), Singapore’s largest healthcare group. This strategic alliance has spawned 15 Academic Clinical Programmes, which harness multi-disciplinary research and education to transform medicine and improve lives.  For more information, please visit www.duke-nus.edu.sg

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