Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd.
Ryo Kubota, MD, PhD
Representative Executive Officer, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Ryo Kubota is an ophthalmologist by training who has performed more than 1,000 eye surgeries. Dr. Kubota spent his early career performing ocular research at Keio University, where he earned his MD and PhD. There, he discovered the glaucoma gene, myocilin, a discovery that earned him the Suda Award for his contribution to the field of neurodegenerative retinal disease. Dr. Kubota continued his research at the University of Washington and later licensed his findings from the university as the core technology on which he founded Kubota Vision Inc. (formerly known as Acucela Inc.) in 2002 in Seattle to develop novel therapeutics for patients with blinding eye diseases. During the formative years of the company, Dr. Kubota raised more than $40 million over three rounds of private financing, including a $25 million Series C in March 2007. Pre-IPO investors include SBI Holdings (lead investor), Olympus, Fuji Film and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance. In 2008, Dr. Kubota brought in research collaboration revenue from Otsuka Pharmaceuticals totaling $269 million. Then in 2014, Kubota Vision made a successful Initial Public Offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Board and raised $149 million at the IPO. Dr. Kubota has raised over $450 million in total for Kubota Vision.
In December 2016, following a redomicile transaction, Kubota Vision Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd. of Japan and Kubota Pharma listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Board (Tokyo 4596). The company is committed to translating innovation into a diverse portfolio of drugs and devices to preserve and restore vision for millions of people worldwide. Kubota Pharmaceutical group's development pipeline includes drug candidates for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, Stargardt disease, and optogenetics-based gene therapy for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa. The company is also developing a handheld OCT device for the monitoring of neovascular retinal diseases, to be used directly by patients, and wearable device for myopia control.
Dr. Kubota holds an MD and a PhD in medicine from Keio University. He has served as a faculty member at Keio University and at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He was board certified in ophthalmology by the Japanese Ophthalmological Society in 1996 and is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), the Japanese Ophthalmology Society, Keio Medical Society, the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ), and the America-Japan Society, Inc.
Since 2008, Dr. Kubota has been a director of the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington. He is also a board member of the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR). He is an official columnist for Forbes Japan and the Japan Times, as well as an editorial member of newspaper for Keio University, School of Medicine. In 2019, he was appointed as a NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) Investigator.
Board of Directors
Ryo Kubota, MD, PhD
Representative Executive Officer, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd.
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kubota Vision Inc.
Masakazu Watanabe, PhD
Chief Development Officer, Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd.
Chief Development Officer, Kubota Vison Inc.
Outside director, Kura Sushi, Inc.
Outside director, Uzabase, Inc.
President, RT Consulting, Inc.
Technical Director, INDEE Japan Ltd.
Director, INDEE Singapore Pte. Ltd.
Director, MENOU Corporation