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Immunology and Rare Diseases


Regulatory immune cell-focused research applicable to the treatment of neurodegenerative, autoimmune or rare diseases

We wish to recruit innovative ideas focusing on immunoregulatory cells such as Tregs for the treatment of diseases such as neurodegenerative, autoimmune or rare diseases driven by immune abnormalities.

Focused research areas:

  • Novel engineered immune cell therapy approaches for focused indications
  • Novel ‘off-the-shelf’ platforms and improved techniques for immune cell therapy
  • Engineering immune cells for in vivo persistency, exhaustion resistance and tissue homing
  • Selective amplification or functional regulation of immune cells
  • Disease related molecule-specific or lesion-specific targeting of immune cells
  • Induction of antigen-specific immune tolerance
  • Novel human relevant assay systems to test the immune cell therapy concepts and mechanisms

Research areas out of focus:

  • Research on multiple sclerosis (relapsing-remitting type), acute stroke, migraine, pain, where application outside these diseases is challenging


Drug discovery for central nervous system diseases (neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric disorders) aiming at control of central or peripheral immunity / inflammation

We wish to recruit ideas on (1) elucidation of the mechanism that causes inflammatory / immune system abnormalities involved in the pathogenesis of central nervous system diseases (neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric disorders), (2) therapeutic research aimed at controlling such abnormalities.

Focused research areas:

  • Research using patient sample (including iPS cell-derived sample)
  • Research using clinically relevant animal models and in vitro cell culture models (microglia, astrocytes, co-culture of them with neurons, etc.)
  • Research on disease relevant genes, molecules or pathways
  • Research aiming for immune cell therapy

Research areas out of focus:

  • Research on multiple sclerosis (relapsing-remitting type), acute stroke, migraine, pain


Development of CAR-engineered immune cells including T/NK cell products against novel solid and/or hematological malignancies targets

Chimeric antigen receptor engineered T cells (CAR-T cells) have made remarkable strides in the treatment of patients with B cell malignancies exemplified by anti-CD19 CAR-T cells in B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL.). This success however has encountered hurdles in translation across hematological malignancies and even more so in solid tumors.
We welcome proposals aimed at the development of novel CAR-engineered immune cells including T/NK cell products against solid and/or hematological malignancies. Proposals aimed at overcoming limitations such as tumor selective expression, heterogeneous antigen expression, immunosuppressive networks in the tumor microenvironment, optimal CAR construct, T cell function and persistence, and inadequate trafficking are desired. (Also included in "Oncology")


Research and development toward realization of innovative technology for next generation cellular cancer immuno-therapy

Remarkable modality change of recent cancer therapy, like immuno-checkpoint inhibitors and CAR-T cells, cancer immuno-therapy has been actively developed and that contrasts with traditional cancer therapies. In this subject, we are looking for innovative ideas and related technologies for cancer immuno-therapy applicable to cell therapy. Among them, the idea relating CAR-T cells is recruiting as another subject (#10), so we expect new proposals that are not related to CAR-T cells and will lead to differentiation from existing cancer therapies.


Innovative research to realize immune cell therapies by using cutting-edge technology (e.g. biomaterials, AI)

Recently, researches and clinical trials for cell therapies using immune cells have been actively examined. Last year, CAR-T cell therapy was approved as the cell therapy product in Japan. Here, we are seeking for proposal for innovative ideas and technologies which accelerate clinical application of immune cell therapies (e.g. T cell, NK cell, hematopoietic stem cell, dendritic cell).

For example,

  • Investigation for novel biomaterials, devices and 3D-cuture to differentiate functional immune cell or to establish large scale culture
  • Combined application of AI (artificial intelligence) and non-invasive approach (e.g image diagnosis, metabolomics) to optimize culture condition or to predict cell function
  • Establishment of non-viral gene transduction method

We are also looking forward to proposals with the keywords “off-the-shelf” or “allogeneic”.


Small molecule approaches to hematological diseases e.g. sickle cell disease

Takeda is interested in collaboration to develop small molecule oral treatments for sickle cell disease and/or non-factor replacement therapies for the treatment of hemophilia A and B.

Other Areas of Interest

How to Apply

Follow the procedure below to make an application.

  1. Download the Proposal Sheet below, and complete based on the non-confidential information.

  2. Send e-mail to COCKPI-T Funding Office (COCKPI-T@takeda.com) with your proposal sheet. You will receive a confirmation mail from COCKPI-T Funding Office.

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