Irish universities forge R&D pact with Japanese drugs giant Shionogi

14 Jun 2013

Ireland’s top universities have entered into a collaboration pact with Shionogi, one of the largest pharmaceutical players in Japan and maker of the cholesterol drug Crestor.

Shionogi will implement in Ireland the Shionogi Science Programme, which the company is working on as part of its globalisation of industry-university collaboration.

Shionogi’s president Isao Teshirogi said the aim of the pact is to seed vital research projects and identify vital research talent as part of its global HR strategy.

“The opportunity to form co-operative research relationships and engage in joint research with Irish research intuitions will help enhance our research and development capabilities and enable personnel exchanges that are ideal for the development of international human resources.

“As a pharmaceutical company that aims to contribute globally, we are extremely honoured to have this opportunity and expect it to prove of great significance. Taking advantage of this opportunity, we will accelerate our globalisation based on research and development,” Teshirogi said.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed with NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, UCD, University of Limerick, the Royal College of Surgeons and Trinity College Dublin.

Shionogi will gradually expand the network, and exchange with academic human resources in Ireland, and further push forward with the globalisation of industry-university collaboration.

MoU is a vital aspect of IDA Ireland’s Asia strategy

The chief executive of IDA Ireland Barry O’Leary emphasised the significance of the pact and said that to be chosen as Shionogi’s partner in the memorandum of understanding will only heighten Ireland’s reputation as a global leader in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.

“Ireland has a globally significant life-science sector and is home to nine of the top 10 world’s leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The signing of this memorandum of understanding will strengthen Ireland’s business ties and open doors to attract further Japanese investment,” O’Leary said.

As part of the agreement and through co-operation with the Irish Embassy in Japan, Shionogi will establish a co-operative relationship where it will match the seeds of research organisations in Irish universities with its drug-discovery technology and carry out joint research on projects that match.

It will also promote personnel exchanges with research organisations in Irish universities as part of its HR strategy.

“Ireland has a strong and established life-science industry, with research and development the primary activity carried out in Ireland,” Innovation Minister Sean Sherlock, TD, said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years