Booklet of the 90th anniversary of the founding
On the 90th anniversary of founding*
Dr. Mitsutaka Natsume, Former President of Research Foundation Itsuu Laboratory
The Itsuu Laboratory was established on June 10, 1915, in Shiba-ku, Tokyo, Japan from the funding of Dr. Gisaburo Shiono and is set to welcome its 90th birthday this year, in 2005. The circumstances leading up to the establishment of the laboratory are described in “A Short History of the Itsuu Laboratory.” It was a time when the production of pharmaceuticals of satisfactory standard was done very immaturely. Professor Kondo’s enthusiasm for drug manufacturing at that time is vividly described in the “Recollection of Tohen.” Since its foundation, the laboratory has experienced events such as the Great Kanto Earthquake and World War II but continued to carry out research activities steadily, even at times such as after the war when supplies were extremely scarce. During that time in 1938, the laboratory became an incorporated foundation under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and is currently the only incorporated foundation that carries out research focusing on pharmacy alone. Despite that Dr. Kondo passed away in 1963, the laboratory relocated in 1967 to Futakotamagawa, which was in Shibuya-ku at the time.
In 1968, prior to the rise of synthetic organic chemistry, the laboratory commenced the synthetic research of natural organic compounds actively. The research work that was carried out was general organic chemistry in which unique synthetic methodologies were developed and applied. We consider that the total synthesis of teleocidin and the total synthesis of aconitum alkaloids are highly advanced research work from the technical aspect. Several natural product-related compounds that were synthesized are summarized at the end of this booklet. The synthetic technologies that produced these results include a number of novel reactions that are the basis of organic chemistry, and we are convinced that the laboratory’s work has greatly contributed to the development of organic chemistry as a purely academic discipline, and that the laboratory sufficiently fulfilled its role as a public interest incorporated foundation.
In the recent years, we refurbished the building. To meet the demands of the new era, we are promoting research in medicinal chemistry, with a clear switch in focus to medicine and pharmacy. This laboratory renews its determination to use the technology and experience gained thus far to become a new-generational pharmaceutical research laboratory to create drugs that are truly useful for medical care.
We ask each of you for your continued support and guidance.
*This is an article contributed by Dr. Natsume on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of ITSUU Laboratory, and is translated into English on behalf of Dr. Natsume.