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The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences

HACARUS and the University of Tokyo join forces for AD/PD drug discovery

  • Joint Research
  • Drug Discovery
  • Medical
Sparse Modeling is expected to bring innovative methods to find effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD).

June 23, 2021 – Tokyo, Japan – HACARUS, the provider of big insights from small data, and the University of Tokyo, world’s leading institute for research and education, today announced the start of the joint research to develop drugs that can potentially cure Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.


Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the aggregation of proteins such as amyloid-β and tau. Similarly, Parkinson’s disease  is caused by the aggregation of α-synuclein. Using HACARUS’ unique AI technology and its expertise in image data analysis, the project aims to quantitatively estimate how these proteins aggregate or disperse – ultimately contributing to effective drug discovery for these diseases.


“In research on various neurodegenerative diseases, some important factors are identified for understanding the onset process, including the accumulation of abnormal proteins inside and outside the cell and the abnormality of intracellular transport. In order to find an effective treatment method for diseases such as AD and PD, it is crucial to quantitatively analyze these abnormal proteins and estimate the effects of potential drugs. Until now, after staining cells and tissues, we have been manually analyzing the obtained image data. With HACARUS, I have high hopes that we will be able to automate the process with minimal amount of bias in the AI system.” said Professor Taisuke TOMITA, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Tokyo.


“HACARUS has a strong track record in developing Image diagnostic AI and R&D process automation, using Sparse Modeling technology. We are very pleased to be able to combine these two strengths in joint research with Professor TOMITA, one of the leading researchers in the field of CNS (Central Nervous System).” said Kenshin Fujiwara, CEO at HACARUS.


Moving forward, HACARUS will continue to improve the efficiency of R&D and contribute to medical diagnosis and care with its Lightweight and Explainable AI.



HACARUS INC, founded 2014 in Kyoto, Japan is the leading provider of Explainable Lightweight AI Tools, backed by Osaka Gas and Miyako Capital (Kyoto University) among others. Its solutions are used in the Medical field to enable humans to make better, faster and more reliable decisions, based on AI driven insights. Hacarus’ proprietary AI engine is built using Sparse Modeling, an AI method that understands data like a human would – by its unique key features and is far more resource, time and energy efficient when compared to Deep Learning. To learn more, visit


About the University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo aims to be a world-class platform for research and education, contributing to human knowledge in partnership with other leading global universities. The University of Tokyo aims to nurture global leaders with a strong sense of public responsibility and a pioneering spirit, possessing both deep specialism and broad knowledge. The University of Tokyo aims to expand the boundaries of human knowledge in partnership with society. Details about how the University is carrying out this mission can be found in the University of Tokyo Charter and the Action Plans. To learn more, visit


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