Exploratory Research for Drug Discovery

Malaria is one of the three largest infectious diseases in the world, which aligns with HIV and tuberculosis. More than 200 million people are infected with malaria and more than 400,000 people died annually. There has been still no effective vaccine, and resistant malaria to existing therapeutic drugs have been reported, and the development of new drugs is urgently necessary.


Visiting Associate Professor
Teruhisa Kato


In this department, a Shionogi’s researcher is in charge of principal investigator, and together with the three departments in SHINE division. We will take on the role of hubs that connect research assets such as know-how and global network of malaria research, which are the strengths of Nagasaki University, and screening drug discovery utilizing the small molecule SAR (structure-activity relationship) engine, which is the strengths of Shionogi, to promote the discovery research of new therapeutic drugs by taking advantage of each strengths. Especially, the purpose is to create a therapeutic drug with strong antimalarial activity and high safety with the department of Molecular Infection Dynamics.

Research activities are as follows:

  • Promotion of drug discovery research on screening-based drug discovery
  • Implementation of Hit to Lead Structure-Activity Relationship (SAR) approach, and optimization of lead scaffolds
  • Strengthening external collaboration for clinical development and identifying new targets
  • Optimization of drug metabolism, safety, and physical parameters of candidate compounds within Shionogi
  • Conducting target discovery and basic research for antimalarial drugs

Recent main research achievement

  1. Unoh et al. J Med Chem 2022,65,6499-6512.