TOKYO—Japan's government may create its own version of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to foster medical innovation and bridge the gap between the laboratory and the clinic.
The proposal is included in a draft Growth Strategy approved yesterday by the administration's Industrial Competitiveness Council. The plan notes that a "Japanese NIH" could better meld governmental, academic, and private sector efforts "in order to strongly support the commercialization of innovative medical technologies." The new agency would be expected to "formulate a comprehensive strategy and prioritize goals and research targets for medical R&D." In other health-related recommendations, the plan calls for legal and regulatory action to speed up approval of new drugs and medical devices. (...) - ScienceInsider, by Dennis Normile on 13 June 2013