Measure for Supporting Organizations in Advancing Research and Development of Technologies for Addressing the Novel Coronaviruses Disease and Other Infectious Diseases Starts
- One of the measures for addressing the novel coronavirus disease -
May 21, 2020
As one of the measures for addressing the novel coronavirus disease, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) started a measure that supports seven highly-urgent research and development (R&D) projects, aiming to develop and demonstrate machines and systems which meet the demand of stakeholders in the field of medical care.
Amid the global pandemic of the novel coronavirus disease, people and businesses have been demanding simple, quick and decentralized virus tests, the development of systems for preventing the spread of the disease, the development of therapy equipment and other devices for treating patients in severe to critical conditions and other efforts. In light of this situation, METI started a measure for supporting seven R&D projects (see the table below) which are highly urgent and that must be tackled quickly, as part of the efforts undertaken in the Project for Developing Technologies for Addressing the Novel Coronavirus Disease and Other Infectious Diseases under the FY2020 Supplementary Budget established on April 30, 2020.
|Title of R&D project||Representative organization of the project||Outline of the project|
|Development of a highly-reliable, rapid diagnosis system for detecting the novel coronavirus disease||National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)||For the purpose of combating COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, development and improvement of rapid diagnosis technologies is a highest-priority issue, not only from the viewpoint of reducing the burdens of patients through early detection and early treatment of such diseases but also from the viewpoint of preventing the spread of diseases. To this end, AIST aims to develop a highly-reliable, rapid PCR diagnosis system and to publicly implement simple and rapid ELISA-based antibody tests.|
|Development of a fully-automated, high-throughput immunoassay method for detecting antibodies of the novel coronavirus disease and research on public implementation of the method||Yokohama City University||The university will combine two technologies, namely, 1) a technology for detecting antiviral antibodies (IgG) in the serum of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients making use of the ELISA method and an immunochromatographic method, and 2) the existing fully-automated, high-throughput technology. With these technologies combined, it aims to develop a system allowing for measurement of antibodies of the novel coronavirus disease (SARS-CoV-2) in a “quantitative” and “large-scale” manner and to smoothly conduct public implementation of the system.|
|Feasibility verification of a remote control system targeting infected patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms and other patients, and research aimed at optimizing the system, as efforts toward reducing the risks of infection for medical workers||Nihon Kohden Corporation||The company aims to commercialize a remote monitoring system in which patients in remote environments are able to easily and automatically measure a variety of their own vital signs and send the data to medical workers in safe places as an approach to preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus disease to such workers, in parallel with managing the symptoms of infected patients and determining medical treatments. It will develop and demonstrate an inexpensive and simple system that is easy to install even in remote environments which are not medical facilities in order to further disseminate the system.|
|Development of systems for improving safety of artificial respirators||ACOMA Medical Industry Co., Ltd.
||The company will develop systems that help users operate artificial respirators in a safer manner, develop prototypes of a set of units based on the development of substrates on which such systems are mounted and conduct performance assessments and EMC assessments in order to achieve the goal, i.e., safe use of the systems by people involved in the medical field.|
|Project for commercializing 3D-printable artificial respirators||National Hospital Organization Niigata Hospital||In this research, the hospital will develop an artificial respirator for emergency use which can be manufactured by 3D printer for mass production in a short time and requires no electricity for operation. It aims to commercialize the respirator in preparation for preventing the collapse of medical services caused by the pandemic of the novel coronavirus disease, which is an approach to overcoming the expected complete shortage of the existing types of artificial respirators due to steep global demand due to the pandemic.|
|Clinical research on effectiveness and safety of new, highly-functional ECMO systems for patients suffering from pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus disease||National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center||In this project, the organization will take advantage of its “ECMO system with excellent levels of antithrombogenicity and safe applicability to patients for a long period of time,” (a system that the organization jointly developed with NIPRO Corporation), conduct specified clinical research at ten facilities in Tokyo and Osaka aiming to study the effectiveness and safety of mid- to long-term ECMO-based treatments for patients suffering from pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus disease, and also provide educational programs on the system to medical workers. It expects that the ECMO system may contribute to improving the ratios of patients’ lives saved and reducing the burden on medical workers.|
|Development of ECMO as equipment for artificial respiration for mid- to long-term patients and clinical assessment thereof||Senko Medical Instrument Mfg. Co., Ltd.||Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) equipment is a necessary device for treating patients with severe respiration failure caused by the novel coronavirus disease. It works by allowing their lungs to rest, while sending oxygen to their bodies. In this research, the company will conduct clinical assessments of the ECMO equipment, a device that can be operated for several weeks without intermission, until the patients’ lungs recover, aiming at the commercialization of the equipment. It will also develop an educational system targeting medical workers involved in ECMO-based medical treatments and introduce the system into the field of medical care.|
Division in Charge
- Medical and Assistive Device Industries Office, Healthcare Industries Division, Commerce and Service Industry Policy Group
- Bio-Industry Division, Commerce and Service Industry Policy Group