日本版NIH 医療の競争力強化の司令塔に

The Yomiuri Shimbun January 26, 2014
Japanese NIH expected to enhance nation’s medical competitiveness
日本版NIH 医療の競争力強化の司令塔に(1月26日付・読売社説)

Excellent results in medical research must lead to the development of new drugs and remedies. A “headquarters for medicine” to be established soon is expected to play a significant role in enhancing Japan’s competitiveness in this field.
 優れた医学研究を医薬品開発や治療法に結実させる必要がある。日本の競争力強化へ、“医療の司令塔”が果たすべき役割は大きい。

The government has decided to create an independent administrative entity tentatively called the Japan medical research and development agency to promote research and development in the medical field. With creation of the agency, the government aims to unify various systems at different ministries and agencies to support the research and development of medicine.
 政府は、医療分野の研究開発を支援するため、独立行政法人「日本医療研究開発機構」を創設することを決めた。各省庁でばらばらだった研究支援体制を一元化する狙いがある。

The agency is called the Japanese version of the U.S. National Institutes of Health because it is being modeled on the U.S. organization, which leads the world in medical research and the creation of new drugs. The government plans to submit related bills to the current ordinary Diet session and to launch the new agency in April 2015.
 世界の医学研究や創薬をリードする米国の国立衛生研究所(NIH)をモデルに、「日本版NIH」と呼ばれる。政府は関連法案を通常国会に提出し、新法人を2015年4月に発足させる方針だ。

The medical field is expected to be a pillar of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s growth strategy. The government must not let the agency become an empty letter but make it a viable organization with power to drive the nation’s growth.
 医療分野は成長戦略の柱として期待される。成長の牽引(けんいん)力となるよう、看板倒れに終わらせず、実効性のある組織とすることが肝要である。

The new agency is tasked with managing research and development funds from various ministries and agencies in an integrated fashion, and with distributing them to universities and other research institutes. The agency will give priority to promising fields and provide constant support to them, from basic research to commercialization of products.
 新法人は、各省庁の研究開発予算を一括管理し、大学などの研究機関に配分する役割を担う。有望な分野を優先し、基礎研究から製品化までを継続的に支援する。

As the development of induced pluripotent stem cells by Kyoto University Prof. Shinya Yamanaka shows, the level of basic research in the medical field is very high in Japan.
 山中伸弥・京都大教授が作製したiPS細胞(人工多能性幹細胞)に代表されるように、日本の医学の基礎研究レベルは高い。

End sectionalism

Nonetheless, Japan lags behind the United States and European countries in the practical application of medical technology. For instance, imports of medicine and medical equipment exceed exports by about ¥3 trillion. It is problematic that a gap between basic research and clinical application has prevented companies from converting research results at universities and elsewhere into commercial realities.
 ところが、医薬品・医療機器の貿易で約3兆円の輸入超過となるなど、医療技術の実用化では米欧に後れをとっている。

Government support for research and development is sometimes not well coordinated.
 基礎研究と臨床応用の間に溝があり、大学などの研究成果が、企業による製品化に結びついていなかったのは問題と言える。

For example, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry is in charge of supporting basic research; the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is in charge of clinical application; and the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry is in charge of industrialization. The ministries often compete with each other to win budget appropriations for similar research.
 研究開発に対する政府の支援は、基礎分野を文部科学省、臨床研究は厚生労働省、産業化は経済産業省がそれぞれ担当し、時にちぐはぐだ。類似研究に各省が予算を奪い合うケースも多い。

To help the new agency function appropriately, it is essential to end sectionalism among ministries and agencies, and to make their support for research and development more efficient.
 新法人を十分機能させるためには、まず省庁の縦割りをなくし、効率化を図ることが不可欠だ。

The new agency will be staffed by medical and pharmaceutical experts from the private sector, but it will not be easy to secure such people.
 新法人の職員は、医療や薬学の民間の専門家などで構成される予定だ。人材確保が難題である。

They will have to exercise good judgment in selecting research subjects with potential, and in connecting research institutes and companies to realize their product development.
 将来性の高い研究領域を見極め、製品開発に向けて研究機関と企業をどう結びつけるか。「目利き力」が求められよう。

There is a mountain of issues to be tackled jointly by the industrial, government and academic sectors. The creation of the Japanese version of the NIH is just a start.
 産官学で取り組むべき課題は山積している。日本版NIHの創設はスタートに過ぎない。

While seeking to change the mindset of university researchers, who tend to overemphasize basic research, the government also should help accelerate the nurturing of start-ups that tackle the development of innovative technology with a high risk of failure.
 基礎研究を偏重しがちな大学の研究者の意識改革を進めるとともに、失敗のリスクが大きい革新的な技術開発を手がけるベンチャー企業の育成も急ぐべきだ。

We expect the government to build a system together with all the related sectors in Japan to increase the nation’s international competitiveness in the medical field by developing the Japanese version of NIH into a major, solid organization.
 政府は、日本版NIHを大きく育てて、オールジャパンで医療分野の国際競争力を高める体制を築いてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 26, 2014)
(2014年1月26日01時11分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2014-01-28 07:11 | 英字新聞

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