Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (hereafter referred as SIMM), Chinese Academy of Sciences (hereafter referred as CAS), has the longest history as a comprehensive research institution for drug discovery in China. SIMM was evolved from Peking Institute of Materia Medica, Academia Sinica, founded in 1932 by Professor ZHAO Chenggu (T. Q. Chou). It was relocated to Wukang Road, Shanghai in 1933, then moved to Yueyang Road in 1953, and settled down in Zhang Jiang Hi-Tech Park, Pudong New District in 2003.
Since the implementation of the Knowledge Innovation Program of CAS, developing novel drugs has become a paramount research focus of SIMM in recent years. In line with frontiers in life sciences and aiming at solving key scientific problems in drug discovery, SIMM carries out both basic and applied studies and develops new theories, methods and technologies. Research priorities are given to treat major diseases, such as cancer, cardio-cerebrovascular disease, neuropsychiatric disease, metabolic disease, autoimmune disease, and infectious disease. SIMM pays also attention to the development of modern Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
In line with the mission of “Discovering new drugs to relieve patients suffering from various diseases”, SIMM has developed and commercialized over 100 new drugs. Among them, a number of innovative drugs such as Artemether, Dimercaptosuccinic acid, and Huperzine A gained recognition both home and abroad. Recent years have witnessed the development of some novel drugs from SIMM, including Depsides salts, a modern Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and Antofloxacin Hydrochloride, a novel fluoroquinolone antibacterial agent. In 2019, Oligomannate (compound code GV-971), the first-in-class drug invented and developed in China to improve cognitive function for those with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, was granted approval by China’s National Medical Products Administration and went on sale. It’s the first new Alzheimer’s drug to go on the market in the last 17 years. SIMM has currently a number of candidates in clinical stages.
Through several generations’ efforts, SIMM has become one of the leading interdisciplinary centers of excellence in China. It is recognized worldwide by its outstanding achievements and distinguished research team.