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  3. Network-based drug discovery

Network-based drug discovery

A network for new drug development: Working closely with partners to create a synergistic effect

New drug discovery begins with screening compounds in a search for promising drug candidates. In our pursuit of compounds that achieve a differentiated therapeutic benefit, Santen has conceived a method called ‘network-based drug discovery’ that complements our in-house screening efforts.

Network-based drug discovery fortifies our 120-plus years of scientific knowledge and drug formulation technology experience with the advanced technical achievements held by other firms and research institutes. This method effectively merges external resources with Santen's vast repository of screening models to facilitate the discovery of potentially beneficial compounds and greatly expedite the search process.

Network-based drug discovery is also a powerful tool in the joint development of our proprietary compounds. One successful example is tafluprost, a prostaglandin analogue for glaucoma and ocular hypertension that became the first Santen product to be released simultaneously across the world. The development of this compound was born from the symbiosis between the Asahi Glass Company's expertise in fluorine compound synthesis and Santen's state-of-the-art technology for screening and selection of compounds to create new drugs. Both firms received the 2010 Japan Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry Award for Technical Excellence for this innovation.

Santen is also engaged in product life-cycle management aimed at making effective use of existing compounds. We align one compound to treatment needs over the long term and explore variations in use, dosage and formulation to increase product application. Examples include:

  • development of drug delivery systems (DDS) that can sustain therapeutic concentrations over longer periods of time
  • the application of formulation techniques to expand indications for current products and efforts to increase the variety of dispensing forms, administration methods and available doses to provide a wider range of treatment options to both health care professionals and patients.