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Message from the CEO

Thank you very much for visiting our website.

Interprotein Corporation has been dedicated to drug discovery targeting interleukin-6 (IL-6), a type of protein known as a cytokine with diverse physiological functions, since its establishment. IL-6 plays an extremely important role in regulating immune responses and inflammatory systems. However, excessive production of IL-6, deviating from its original role in maintaining the homeostasis of the organism, can lead to various inflammatory pathological conditions.

Therefore, we aim to relieve a wide range of patients from diseases by controlling IL-6. To achieve this, we are pursuing the development of small-molecule oral available drugs and peptide (helix-loop-helix peptide as new modality) drugs that inhibit protein-protein interactions (PPI) between IL-6 and its receptor proteins.

Approximately 20,000 proteins that constitute living organisms form complex protein-protein interactions in the micro-world, and the number of these interactions is said to reach 650,000. These protein-protein interactions play a crucial role in fundamental reactions underlying life processes.

The name "Interprotein" reflects our specialization in drug discovery targeting protein-protein interactions.

The history of pharmaceutical research and development spans over 100 years. In recent decades, scientific advancements have given rise to new modalities such as nucleic acid medicine, cell therapy, regenerative medicine, and genome editing, in addition to traditional small-molecule drugs and recombinant protein drugs represented by antibody drugs. While these advancements have gradually addressed previously challenging incurable diseases including rare diseases, the emergence of new modalities has also contributed to the rising costs of healthcare, presenting new challenges in the medical field.

There are 338 designated incurable diseases in Japan, and globally, there are around 7,000 such diseases.

Among the approximately 1,500 proteins that could be potential targets for drug discovery, only about 300 proteins are currently considered targets for drug development. The problem of target exhaustion has been a long-standing scientific debate.

The number of protein-protein interactions is approximately 650,000, as mentioned earlier, forming the foundation of life processes. In the recent pandemic, the mechanism by which the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters the body through the binding of its spike protein with the ACE2 protein present in the blood vessels of humans and animals has been detailed. This highlights the need to consider protein-protein interactions not only among proteins constituting living organisms but also with proteins outside this framework.

Furthermore, genomic research has widely revealed that mutations in specific proteins, apart from those constituting living organisms, are causes of various diseases, particularly cancer. This understanding adds to the complexity of protein-protein interactions as a challenge.

Even with the widespread use of mRNA vaccines, in the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, a Cumulative Analysis of Post-Authorization Adverse Event Reports has been disclosed, listing 1,291 types of adverse events. This underscores the existence of challenges that need to be addressed, and drug discovery themes targeting protein-protein interactions are numerous.

Drug discovery targeting protein-protein interactions is highly challenging, and successful cases are extremely limited, making it generally avoided as a drug discovery theme. Interprotein is committed to ensuring the success of drug discovery targeting protein-protein interactions, creating an era in which many patients can be saved from various incurable diseases. In pursuit of this new era, we are advancing foundational technology development that utilizes structural biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, organic chemistry, and quantum science-based artificial intelligence. As a result, the stage is set for the widespread application of our foundational technology to drug discovery targeting various protein-protein interaction targets, not limited to the small-molecule IL-6 inhibitor project.

The development of many modalities spreading in the field of medicine is an important thing for human healthcare. In this context, Interprotein aims to progress toward the development of the most versatile oral drugs that can reach the hands of every human in an era where the global population has exceeded 8 billion.

We sincerely appreciate your continued support in the future.

Masato Hosoda, CEO

An artist of Japanese paintings, SHOUKAN KIRIMOTO who facinates the world with her original style, has made a painting of our company leaping foward.