Japan rises to the top as a leader in Biotech and Pharma

Image of pagoda and Mt Fuji or article on Japanese biotech.

Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun, holds a number-two ranking in Asia, and leads the continent in biotech and pharma patents (14,414 listing at least one Japanese inventor, according to WIPO), as well as a firm number-two in R&D. (Source)

Here are my top picks for innovative biotechs:

Chordia Therapeutics, Fujisawa, is a start-up company that develops next-generation anticancer drugs based on solid scientific evidence. Their anti-cancer drug pipeline focuses on RNA regulation abnormalities that have been found as a new feature of cancer. Recent studies have newly discovered that RNA regulation is altered in cancer, and show that this RNA regulation abnormality is significantly involved in the development and progression of cancer.

Their lead asset, CLK CTX-712, carries out Phase I of First in Human.

United Immunity, Kobe, develops novel combination immunotherapies utilizing our potent anti-tumor T cell activating nano-immunotherapy “T-ignite”, we challenge conquest of intractable solid cancer, especially “cold tumor”, where conventional therapies are not effective for. The same technology is being used for the development of a next generation SARS-CoV-2 nanoparticle vaccine.

xFOREST Therapeutics, Kyoto is creating a paradigm shift in drug discovery with its unique technological assets “FOREST”, setting RNA structures as drug discovery targets. FOREST are technology platforms that integrate massively parallel biochemical analysis systems of up to 1 million species of RNA structures and in silico analysis pipelines. These comprehensive analyses include various RNA structures, regardless of their source: organ, species, or virus. As a result, the technologies have enabled the search for highly specific RNA-binders, empowering the rapid and efficient discovery of RNA-targeting drugs.

Rena Therapeutics, Tokyo, markets HDO, Hetero-duplex oligonucleotide developed by Professor Yokota Takanori of Tokyo Medical and Dental University.  This was developed to solve the inherent issues with nucleic acid drugs including:  delivery issues, toxicological issues and blood stability.

By establishing the third platform technology next to Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc (ASO) and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc (siRNA), we will contribute to the creation of new nucleic acid drugs, and to deliver therapeutic drugs to patients as soon as possible 

CYTLIMIC, Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Immunotherapy in Cancer, Tokyo, is a biotechnology company developing immunotherapy products for the treatment of cancer, including a cancer peptide vaccine. CYTLIMIC’s products aim to activate immune systems to attack cancer cells while enabling patients to maintain a high quality-of-life during treatment.