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Latest updates on the research activities at KING SKYFRONT, Japan.
[October 29, 2021]

Latest updates on the research activities at KING SKYFRONT, Japan.

KAWASAKI, Japan, Oct. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers affiliated with Kawasaki INnovation Gateway at SKYFRONT (KING SKYFRONT) and their collaborators report on antibody delivery technology that empowers immunotherapy against glioblastoma and suppresses side effects, and creating smart nanomachines to detect highly invasive cancer after surgery and prevent recurrence.

Tumor-Specific Anti-Cancer Activity



Research highlight

Antibody Delivery Technology Empowers Immunotherapy against Glioblastoma and Suppresses Side Effects

In this research, Kazunori Kataoka of the Innovation Center of Nanomedicine, Kawasaki, Japan and colleagues developed an antibody delivery technology based on multiple glucosylated polymers conjugated onto antibodies via linkers cleaving in tumor microenvironment.

The delivery technology enhanced the accumulation of anti-PD-L1 antibody (Avelumab) in glioblastoma by 33-fold, compared to unmodified Avelumab by recognizing Glucose Transporter 1.

In orthotopic glioblastoma models, a single administration of the modified Avelumab at 15% of the standard dose achieved 60% complete response rate, with long-term immune memory.

The delivery technology suppressed the immune-related adverse events of Avelumab.


Yang, T., Mochida, Y., Liu, X. et al. Conjugation of glucosylated polymer chains to checkpoint blockade antibodies augments their efficacy and specificity for glioblastoma. Nat Biomed Eng (2021).

DOI: 10.1038/s41551-021-00803-z


Research highlight

Creating Smart Nanomachines to Detect Highly Invasive Cancer After Surgery and Prevent Recurrence—Cancer Metastasis and Recurrence Prevention

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is an enzyme required for cancer cells to metastasize/invade, and cancer cells with higher MMP activity have higher metastasis ability and progress quickly.

In this study, Kazunori Kataoka of the Innovation Center of Nanomedicine, Kawasaki, Japan and colleagues created polymersomes (smart nanomachines) that act specifically in tissues that overproduce MMPs, prevent cancer metastasis, and developed a method to remove residual tumor tissue that could not be visually confirmed after surgery.

The scientists simultaneously loaded the cell division inhibitor colchicine and the MMP inhibitor marimastat into MMPs-responsive polymersomes as an enzymatically transformable nanomachine designed to achieve transformation following dePEGylation by cleavage of the inserted substrate peptide by MMPs. The effect on malignant tumors with high MMPs activity was evaluated.

During transformation, nanomachines with exposed guanidine residues easily penetrate into cells, and at the same time, by releasing the contained rugs, it exerts an anti-cancer effect.

Evaluating drug uptake using HT1080 cells derived from human fibrosarcoma that overproduce MMPs, studying pharmacokinetic and nano-bio interaction using a confocal laser scanning biomicroscope and evaluating metastasis inhibitory effect using triple-negative breast cancer transplantation model.


J. Li, Z. Ge, K. Toh, X. Liu, A. Dirisala, W. Ke, P. Wen, H. Zhou, Z. Wang, S. Xiao, J. F. R. Van Guyse, T. A Tockary, J. Xie, D. G.-Carter, H. Kinoh, S. Uchida, Y. Anraku, and K. Kataoka. Enzymatically Transformable Polymersome-Based Nanotherapeutics to Eliminate Minimal Relapsable Cancer. Advanced Materials, 2021.

DOI: 10.1002/adma.202105254



Kawasaki Institute of Industrial Promotion exhibits at BioJapan 2021

The Kawasaki Institute of Industrial Promotion (KIIP) exhibited their booth at BioJapan 2021 between 13-15 October 2021 at PACIFICO Yokohama, Japan. BioJapan is one of Asia's major business partnering events and includes the three exhibitions of biotechnology (BioJapan), iPS technology (Regenerative Medicine JAPAN), and digital technology and life science (health TECH JAPAN).

BioJapan 2021 attracted approximately 900 companies from 25 countries and regions with 14,891 visitors—an increase of 1,104 from 2020.

The Kawasaki Institute of Industrial Promotion (KIIP) established the Tonomachi KING SKYFRONT Cluster Division in April 2020 with the aim of further revitalizing R&D and business activities at KING SKYFRONT and creating a system for continuously creating innovation. By exhibiting at BioJapan, KIIP wants to raise awareness of KING SKYFRONT both within Japan and internationally, with the aim of matching and information gathering with an eye on future cooperation.

Summary of activities at BioJapan 2021

  • 15 interviews with potential industrial partners and businesses
  • 104 visitors to the KIIP booth
  • Approximately 200 exchanges of business cards
  • One interview with a local TV station (YouTV)

Further information



The Kawasaki INnovation Gateway (KING) SKYFRONT is the flagship science and technology innovation hub of Kawasaki City. KING SKYFRONT is a 40 hectare area located in the Tonomachi area of the Keihin Industrial Region that spans Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture and Tokyo International Airport (also often referred to as Haneda Airport).

KING SKYFRONT was launched in 2011 as a base for scholars, industrialists and government administrators to work together to devise real life solutions to global issues in the life sciences and environment.

Further information

KING-SKYFRONT iNewsletter Publishing Team
TONOMACHI LifeScience Cluster Division, Kawasaki Institute of Industrial Promotion Life Science & Environment research center (LiSE) 1F,
3-25-10, Tonomachi, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi,
Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, 210-0821
Email: [email protected]

Kawasaki Institute of Industrial Promotion (KIIP)

Kawasaki Institute of Industrial Promotion was established in 1988 funded 100% from Kawasaki City for the purpose of coping with the hollowing out of industry and changes in the demand structure. In order to realize a higher level of market development, transforming R&D type companies, training technological capabilities to support it, human resources development, understanding market needs, etc., by utilizing the functions of the Kawasaki, KIIP has been contributing to revitalize the local economy by promoting exchanges of local industry information, advancing technology and corporate exchanges with establishment of a R&D institutions, developing creative human resources through workshops and promoting businesses such as expanding sales channels through exhibition business.

Innovation Center of NanoMedicine (iCONM)

Innovation Center of NanoMedicine (iCONM) started its operation in April 2015 as a core research center in life science field at King SkyFront on the request of Kawasaki city that KIIP utilized national policies as a business operator and proposer. It is a unique research center that the world has ever seen which is designed for the purpose of promoting open innovation through industry-academia-government/medical-engineering collaboration, prepared with state-of-the-art facilities and experimental equipment, that enables comprehensive research and development from organic synthesis / microfabrication to preclinical testing.


Center of Innovation Program (COI)

The COI program is a research and development program under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Japan Science and Technology Agency. The program employs the backcasting approach and set interdisciplinary and collaborative R&D themes that should be challenged at the present from the issues that are underlying in the future society. Eighteen centers have been established nationwide to realize radical innovation through industry-academia collaboration which cannot be accomplished by industry and academia alone.

The Kawasaki center is the only COI center managed by local governments, not universities, and the research projects carried out there are called COINS (Center of Open Innovation Network for Smart Health).



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