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Boston Biomedical: Sumitomo Dainippon’s gateway to ‘first-in-class’ innovation

Feb 25, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

Boston Biomedical, a company focused on developing and commercializing next-generation cancer therapeutics, has experienced impressive growth since its acquisition by a top-10 Japanese pharmaceutical company, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. in 2012.

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Boston Biomedical sits at the epicenter of medical innovation and serves as the global center of oncology research and development for Sumitomo Dainippon Group, whose resources, expertise and reach have allowed the company to quickly initiate more than 20 clinical trial programs in its goal to overcome clinical challenges with current cancer treatments.

Boston Biomedical is focusing on the emerging field of therapeutics that inhibit cancer stem cell (CSC) pathways. CSCs make up a subset of cells within tumors that act like seeds, causing the disease to relapse or spread within the body.

Evidence suggests that these cells possess considerable resistance to conventional chemotherapy and radiation so while such treatments can successfully shrink tumors, a population of CSCs may still survive.

The company’s lead candidate, napabucasin (also known as BB608 or BBI608), is an orally administered investigational agent designed to inhibit CSC pathways.

It is currently in Phase III studies in gastric/gastro-esophageal cancer and colorectal cancer, and additional Phase III trials for other cancers are planned to begin this year.

Boston Biomedical is rapidly developing its pipeline of novel compounds to treat a variety of tumors, including lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, glioblastoma, mesothelioma and several hematologic malignancies.

Strategia Therapeutics makes major paradigm shift in new drug R&D

Feb 25, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

The pharmaceutical industry faces a tough challenge as the current drug development process is highly inefficient and very cost prohibitive. The average cost from R&D until market approval is $4 billion and the success rate for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stands at only 5 percent.

Strategia Therapeutics President and CEO Dr. Keizo Koya

The increase in R&D cost has come at an 80-fold decrease in productivity over the last nine years alone.

Strategia Therapeutics, a Boston-based company, has initiated an innovative approach to R&D and is changing the traditional model of drug development.

“Collaboration is the key to success. Remember the days when movies were primarily created by big studios? Actors, musicians, writers and directors worked under one company because people believed they needed to be vertically integrated and have large infrastructures to make good films. Now, movies are made by individuals with varied backgrounds who collaborate with one another,” said President and CEO Dr. Keizo Koya.

“Similarly, Strategia believes in the power of collaboration. Strategia gathers top-notch scientists, drug developers, medical doctors and investors from all over the world to produce and manage the best development team for each new drug, without large infrastructure and expenditure,” Koya added.

With that vision, Strategia has since established seven teams for seven drug candidates in three years by collaborating with experts, organizations, and companies such as Fujifilm, Eisai and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“We reject the one-size-fits-all mentality. We handpick the experts who are best for each individual drug that we develop,” said Koya.

By translating the highest quality science into proven clinical success in an efficient and nimble manner for patients, Strategia’s innovative approach will bring significant benefits not only to the patients, but also to all the collaborators, investors and society at large.

Location is vital to success of global IT company

Feb 25, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

Building on its 46-year history as Japan’s most trusted provider of IT solutions, Information Development initiated a global expansion plan 12 years ago to build a diverse, multinational organization. Using a two-pronged approach, the organization looked for the right locations in which to build strategic satellite offices and rolled out an innovative hiring and training process to develop global talent.

Boston was chosen as the site for ID America, Information Development’s U.S. headquarters, in order to be a part of one of North America’s leading innovation and education hubs. ID America currently focuses on two key strategic areas: sourcing innovative software back to Japan for integration into the Japanese market and recruiting globally minded, IT-literate and bilingual candidates who want to begin to build a career in Japan.

“We are looking to find the right partners and the right corporations so that we can bring back new software and inventive technology for our clients. We also actively recruit new graduates and mid-career hires throughout the region since their knowledge and expertise are vital to our future success as a global organization,” said ID Group Global Advisor Kerianne Panos.

“We’re looking for partnerships with companies in the ‘Internet of things’ and mobile security. By introducing new technology and innovative products to the Japanese market, we can better support our clients in many key areas of operations within our organization,” ID America General Manager Yuko Kasuya said.

ULVAC: Where innovation happens

Feb 25, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

Flat panel TVs, mobile phones, solar-powered gadgets and even frozen food have all become commonplace elements of modern life. What may not be apparent is vacuum technology’s role in the manufacturing and packaging of those everyday and indispensible products.


Headquarters of ULVAC Technologies Inc. in Methuen, Massachusetts

ULVAC Technologies Inc. (UTECH) was established in Massachusetts in 1992 in response to ULVAC Japan’s desire to globalize and create its Western Operations. Its mission is to expand market acceptance of ULVAC products and technologies to meet the R&D, pilot production and high volume manufacturing needs of its customers.

UTECH has built a Class-10 state-of-the-art clean room to create the ideal conditions required to test and manufacture the parts and components used in various vacuum-based technology products.

UTECH’s proximity to long-established centers of education and innovation has given the subsidiary of ULVAC the agility to adapt the latest vacuum technology, which has seen wider applications with the global growth of the “Internet of things,” and the related infrastructure and products required to support the IoT.

While it has benefitted from its location, ULVAC Technologies has also allowed many local startups to flourish because of the vacuum technology it has developed in its facility in Massachusetts, where it supports fellow subsidiaries in 48 locations around the world.

“The United States continues to be the center for innovation and a breeding ground for emerging technology and venture companies. We’re constantly on the lookout for new technologies that are aligned with ULVAC’s growth,” explained CEO Wayne Anderson.

American university shifts its sights to Japan

Feb 25, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

Going on its fourth year, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic stimulus package, known more popularly as Abenomics, has progressed in fits and starts.

Continuing with the so-called three arrows — fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural reform — to jumpstart the economy, the government has also encouraged improved English language skills among Japanese to help them engage more closely with the global economy.

While Japan has had to look outwards to grow its economy, proficiency in English has not become a priority in the education and training of the country’s business leaders. With its successful bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, Japan is again eager to show the world that it remains a global influence, whether it is in culture, economics or technology.

Framingham State University in Massachusetts, the first and oldest public teaching college in the U.S., is looking to narrow that language gap by training English language teachers in Japan through its officially accredited Master’s Program in Education and English as a Second Language (ESL).

“The university established the Master’s Program in 1988. We currently offer a Master’s Degree in International Education and ESL in 16 different countries. In Asia, we are currently teaching in China, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand and Saipan. And it would be very interesting for us to explore Japan,” said President Javier

“Our programs offer a flexible schedule in order to meet the busy lifestyles of candidates. It’s a program that is designed for working teachers to obtain an accredited American master’s degree,” Cevallos added.

Both programs are available through distance learning and face-to-face teaching. At the end of the two-year program, students receive a U.S.-accredited master’s diploma.

Rochester NH: Growth heads north

Feb 25, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

New Hampshire has distinguished itself for being one of the states that does not levy individual income or sales taxes. Its tax policies have attracted both large and small companies looking for an investment friendly atmosphere that will facilitate growth and employment in the state.


Rochester City, situated along the coast of New Hampshire, has emerged one of the state’s fastest-growing cities, drawing companies engaged in high-tech manufacturing, particularly in the advanced composite materials sector.

With a growing population of more than 30,000, the city is stepping up efforts to welcome new investors wanting to take advantage of the city’s world-class infrastructure and highly skilled workforce.

“A big part of our history, as well as our future is manufacturing. Traditionally, our city has been a place for textile manufacturing for 150 years, so moving into composite materials and advanced manufacturing is a natural progression of the city’s strengths,” said Economic Development Manager Karen Pollard.

In line with efforts to attract more investment, Rochester City has also established New England’s first advanced technology and academic center to ensure that the state can provide topnotch workers to companies in the area.

“We have the only advanced composite materials training facility in the region. We have also added textiles and processing to our investment, and this will guarantee that we have a competitive workforce in the next 20 to 30 years,” Pollard said.

Fueled by high liquidity and a more outward-looking business mindset, the U.S. has once again become a highly attractive destination for Japanese capital.

Pollard assures white-glove treatment for any Japanese company that wants to set up shop in Rochester.

“If a company from Japan wanted to locate here, and they want a specific feature, we could work on that. Part of the relationship is listening and responding to their needs and not just telling them this is what we have,” she said. 

Eastern USA 2016 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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