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Univ. of Tokyo to use 'K' supercomputer to develop new medicine
[February 16, 2012]

Univ. of Tokyo to use 'K' supercomputer to develop new medicine

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TOKYO, Feb. 16 -- (Kyodo) _ The University of Tokyo said Thursday it will launch research jointly with computer maker Fujitsu Ltd. and Sweden's Stockholm University to efficiently develop new medicines using the "K" supercomputer, the world's fastest, under development in Japan.

The international team of researchers plans to use the supercomputer to design drugs by calculating the moves of atoms that form small molecules which could become anticancer drugs, the leading Japanese university said.

The team will first use another Fujitsu supercomputer to improve a software program developed by Stockholm University and start using the K supercomputer this fall to make calculations.

It will search for antibodies that could be used to target cancer protein and design the first new drug by March 2013, the team said.

Medical scientist Tatsuhiko Kodama, professor at the University of Tokyo's Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, said the team hopes to contribute to developing anti-cancer drugs, noting that the use of computers in designing new drugs is becoming important.

The "K" supercomputer is currently under development by Fujitsu and the state-backed research institute Riken. Last year, it retained the No. 1 ranking as the world's fastest in computing speed.

(c) 2012 Kyodo News International, Inc.

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