3rd Reverse Pitch Webinar: Collaboration Opportunities with Japanese Pharma Companies

Department for Business and Trade (DBT) Japan were delighted to host the 3rd webinar inviting speakers from pre-clinical stage R&D / Business Development of Japan’s leading pharmaceutical companies: Astellas Pharma Inc, Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Shionogi & Co Ltd and Sumitomo Pharma Co Ltd.   

This webinar targeted for UK organisations in the Life Sciences industry and was an ideal opportunity to learn research priorities and collaboration structures of the Japanese pharmaceutical companies.

DBT Japan Team will also assist 1:1 call requests from UK companies. Please send non-confidential information to DBT Japan at LS.Japan.trade@fco.gov.uk, indicating which companies you wish to have a meeting with, and how your technology fits their research priorities.  We will set up meetings with those agreed.










Opening Remarks / Housekeeping 

Astellas Pharma Inc

Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd

Shionogi & Co Ltd

Sumitomo Pharma Co Ltd


*Q&A Moderator: Dr Ivana Poparic, Head of Life Sciences Cluster Development, London & Partners

Key interest areas from the companies are:

Astellas Pharma Inc

Astellas is interested in emerging areas of drug discovery including new biological insights, platforms, and modalities across multiple therapeutic areas.

  • Cell and gene therapy programs and technologies for regeneration of eye and other organs
  • AAV gene therapy projects and technologies
  • Programs and technologies to modulate mitochondria related pathway
  • Novel immuno-oncology programs
  • Targeted protein degradation programs and technologies
  • New technologies and modalities for immune regulation, including immunoregulatory cell therapy

Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd

Daiichi Sankyo is interested in disruptive science in the preclinical phase and seeking early-stage technology platform-based opportunities for research collaboration with universities or startups.


  • Novel protein degradation technologies that are based on other than the ubiquitin-proteosome system
  • Cutting-edge technologies that enable targeting “undruggable” epigenetics-related molecules
  • Unique antibodies or binders (e.g. scFv) against tumor-associated antigens that are applicable to antibody and/or cell therapies


  • Research for finding brand new therapeutic targets to tackle UMN of psychiatric diseases based on human disease information
  • Novel research on glial cell function that can reveal the relevance of the progression of neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. neuroinflammation, cellular metabolism, and senescence)

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation

  • Drug seeds realizing precision medicines for ALS, MELAS, MSA, PSP, FTD and ASD
  • Drug seeds for targeted protein degradations or antibody drug conjugates for refractory cancers
  • Clinical samples, cell models, and animal models for above diseases
  • Targeted protein degradation technologies regarding tissue specific E3 ligase
  • DDS or formulation that enable oral administration of middle-molecular weight compounds
  • Biomarkers that can be implemented in clinical trials for above diseases (including by wearable devices)

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd

  • Global Focus: Psychiatry / Neurology / Nephrology / Autoimmune
  • Evolutionary/Innovative Science with drug candidate screening/design/selection system in place
  • mRNA therapeutics with distinct nucleotide bricks
  • Small molecules inhibit protein-protein interaction as antibody.
  • New and improve antibody delivery system (e.g. oral and high-volume SQ)
  • Any novel modalities/molecules to reduce Amyloid beta oligomers

Shionogi & Co Ltd

  • Research collaboration and partnership opportunities in infectious diseases (esp. HIV, HBV, RSV, AMR, NTM*, Pandemic preparedness) and respiratory diseases
  • Research collaboration and partnership opportunities in dementia (symptomatic relief) and cognitive impairment
  • Research collaboration and partnership opportunities in sleep disorders (sleep apnoea), sensory loss (hearing loss) and mobility disorders (aging related)
  • Research collaboration and partnership opportunities in vaccine discovery
  • Phase 2 and 3 clinical assets in infectious diseases and CNS areas

(NTM*: Nontuberculous Mycobacteria)

Sumitomo Pharma Co Ltd

Sumitomo is exploring opportunities for Assets and Technologies in CNS and Oncology fields, and Platform Technologies.

  • Psychiatry: Drug discovery based on neural circuit pathology
  • Neurology: Drug discovery based on molecular pathophysiological mechanisms
  • Oncology: Novel therapeutic targets or agents targeting context-dependent cancer vulnerabilities, Novel immunotherapies
  • Platform Technologies: Drug discovery platform, Drug delivery system, Novel modality suitable for our focused areas