#Asia #Japan Show 45: What’s Wrong With BioTech in Japan – Molcure


Japan could be, and perhaps should be, a BioTech startup powerhouse. The size of the market, the aging population and the depth and quality of the fundamental research being done here should make Japan a global player.

But something is holding her back.

Today we talk to Yutaro Kyono and Yoichiro Hara, two of the co-founders of Molcure about the challenges facing BioTech in Japan and how they have managed to get around them.

The Molcure system greatly reduces the time and resources to develop anti-body based drugs by identifying candidate gene sequences and automating the testing of those candidates. But Molcure’s vision is bigger than that. They envision a system so automated and complete they refer to it as “Sample in. Cure Out »

It’s an amazingly ambitions plan, even in the startup world, and they have some big challenges ahead of them. It’s a great story from an ambitious team, and I think you’ll enjoy the conversation.

Show Notes for Startups

Why antibody based drugs are important
Robotics in drug discovery and testing
How to become the Google of drugs
Why there is no bio-tech boom in Japan
When government startup assistance is useful
The importance of the startup community in Japan
Why Molcure real competition won’t come from bio-tech
When we will see Japan’s first round of bio-tech success stories

Links from the Founder

Molcure’s homepage
Check out Yutaro’s Home page
Friend Yoichiro on Facebook
Friend Yutaro on Facebook

 Leave a comment
Transcript from Japan
Disrupting Japan. Episode 45.

Welcome to disrupting Japan. Straight talk from Japan’s most successful entrepreneurs. I’m Tim Romero and thanks for listening.

The team at Molcure has big ambitions. Now, I realize that’s a cliché. Talking about a company’s big ambitions is like talking about a founders driving passion. It can be and it usually is applied to every start-up on the planet. It’s different with Molcure however. They’ve developed and are bringing to market a system that can greatly reduce the time required to develop antibody-based drugs.

Molcure not only speeds up the process of isolating a handful of candidate gene sequences to combat a particular target by a factor of 10 but it then actually automates the laboratory tests required to confirm these candidates. Molcure has a vision of a drug discovery and testing systems so completely automated, they’re calling it sample in, cure out.

As ambitious as that seems however, the biggest hurdle to their success might not be the technological challenges. You see, Japanese biotech companies face some unique hurdles. Despite some amazing and groundbreaking research being done in the Japanese laboratories, a lot of changes need to be made before Japan will be able to successfully bring them onto a global marketplace, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of our story. So I’ll let both Yutaro Kyono and Yoichiro Hara, two of Molcure’s co-founders tell you all about it.

So let’s get right to the interview.


Tim: So I’m sitting here with both Yutaro Kyono and Yoichiro Hara, cofounders of Molcure. Molcure is a biomolecule engineering platform and you guys are focused on an antibody based drugs. That’s a really big concept for a software guy like me. So Yoichiro, can you explain it in a way that a 10-year-old could understand it? What is it that Molcure does?

Yoichiro: OK. Molcure is providing software for discovering the new antibody drugs for incurable diseases. It can lead a sequence of DNA and then recall that the big data from the library in the process of the screening of drug and then we analyze that data using our massive lining algorithms and then we can discover the 10 or 20 top candidates for the pharmaceutical company.

Tim: So you start out with a pathogen and you’re looking fo…

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