Greeting from AMED

“Our mission is to fast-track medical research and development.”

AMED nameplate

As medicine continues to advance at a remarkable rate, it is vital to develop new approaches to diagnostics and therapeutics in order to contribute to human health. Under the growing weight of public expectation, we must continually face new challenges while trying to solve public health problems.

Established in April 2015, AMED is seeking to catalyze the process of medical innovation and overcome the barriers between sectors, connecting talented individuals to accelerate medical research and development. In just three years, we have made significant gains in the fight against many diseases.

For example, as part of the Initiative on Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases (IRUD), genetic analysis systems are more accessible than ever — thanks in part to the data sharing among physician scientists in Japan, which was pioneered by AMED. Through IRUD and the study of genetic analysis, 12 new diseases have been discovered. And more than 800 undiagnosed patients who suffered from diagnostic odyssey over many years were diagnosed within 6 months of registering for the program. IRUD is now contributing to several case matches between Japanese and overseas patients, as AMED empowers global networks for data sharing.

In addition, we are constantly seeking to solve antimicrobial resistance — a significant global threat. The Japan Nosocomial Infections Surveillance (JANIS) program, which facilitates the sharing of antimicrobial resistance data between hospitals, will soon be introduced to Southeast Asian countries.

Furthermore, as Japan moves toward a super-aging society, we made it our mission to establish a nationwide registry to assist with and contribute to dementia research and drug development.

AMED is also interested in reforming and galvanizing the funding systems. Beginning last year, we initiated Cyclic Innovation for Clinical Empowerment (CiCLE), a large-scale program in pursuit of greater medical innovation that fosters human resources. Under a collaborative effort between industry and academia, the program will run for a maximum of 10 years and provide participants the opportunity to develop into talented young leaders — those who can help us progress into the future.

While our progress is encouraging, we understand the challenges we face cannot be overcome without global collaboration. To date, we have entered into memorandum-of-cooperation agreements with several of our counterparts: the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US, the Medical Research Council (MRC) in the UK, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore, the Spanish Society for the Research of Individual Differences (SEIDI) in Spain and the Ministry of Health in Lithuania. We have also established offices in the US, UK and Singapore to further reinforce our relationships.

Many challenges lie ahead as we work to improve health in Japan and around the world. However, through close cooperation with the global medical community, we can deliver the best medicine and change lives for the better.