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Innovation in Drugs and Devices: How Kubota Pharmaceutical Group Seeks to Preserve and Restore Vision for Millions of People Worldwide

By: Newsfile

Tokyo, Japan--(Newsfile Corp. - February 21, 2023) - Blindness is perhaps the worst ailment that could happen to anyone in a lifetime. It can cause feelings of loneliness and alienation, leading to social disengagement and isolation. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 2.2 billion people worldwide have near or distant vision impairment. Amidst the growing concerns regarding visual impairments due to common causes such as myopia and macular degeneration, Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings and its subsidiary Kubota Vision (Kubota Pharmaceutical Group), an ophthalmic medical solutions company headquartered in Tokyo, have taken the noble initiative to preserve and restore vision for millions of people worldwide. The company seeks to achieve this goal by leveraging technological innovations in pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Kubota Vision was founded in 2002 by Dr. Ryo Kubota, a renowned ophthalmologist, with the aim of providing cutting-edge technology and drugs to restore vision. The company is committed to translating innovation into a diverse portfolio of pharmaceuticals and medical devices to fulfill its goal of treating vision impairment across the globe. The company's development pipeline includes pharmaceuticals and devices intended to treat diabetic retinopathy and macular edema, Stargardt disease, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, myopia, and presbyopia.

The company has been at the forefront of technological innovation and has an extensive patent portfolio with 84 issued patents and 164 pending. Some of the major devices and drugs in the company's product pipeline include Kubota Glass, a wearable illuminated spectacle device for myopia management, PBOS (Patient Based Ophthalmology Suite) remote retinal monitoring device, emixustat for Stargardt disease, and VAP-1 inhibitors for neuroinflammation.

Kubota Glass technology is designed to help manage myopia which occurs due to the increased growth of the eye. This technology is designed to reduce eye growth by projecting specially focused illumination on the peripheral portion of the visual field in order to actively stimulate the retina. Since myopia progresses as eye length increases, Kubota Glass technology seeks to manage myopia by reducing excessive eye growth. Kubota Glass has completed medical device registration in the U.S. and Taiwan. Emixustat is a first-in-class drug delivered orally to treat retinal diseases, which Kubota Pharmaceutical Group is exploring for the potential to stop or slow the progression of vision loss in patients diagnosed with Stargardt disease.

PBOS is a low-cost, home-based self-monitoring optical coherence tomographer (OCT) intended to improve ophthalmic treatment outcomes in patients diagnosed and treated for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME) by capturing changes in retinal anatomy. As part of this project, an exceptional achievement for the company was working to develop the device such that it could be carried on National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s manned mission to Mars. Due to its small size and portability, the PBOS device has the potential to evaluate astronauts in flight, enabling detection of eye diseases caused by intense radiation exposure and zero gravity, such as Space Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome (SANS).

Dr. Ryo Kubota, the visionary behind the company, was born in Japan. He spent his early career performing ocular research at Keio University, where he earned his MD and PhD in medicine. Dr. Kubota was part of the cutting-edge Human Genome Project in the late 1990s, and his research at the university led to a groundbreaking scientific breakthrough when he discovered the glaucoma gene, myocilin. This discovery 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, in 2002, licensed his findings as the core technology on which he founded Kubota Vision, with the goal of developing novel therapeutics for patients with blinding eye diseases. In 2016, Kubota Vision became a wholly owned subsidiary of Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings of Japan. Since 2008, Dr. Kubota has been a director of the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington and is a board member of the National Bureau of Asian Research. In 2019, he was appointed one of NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) Investigators. Combining his professional excellence with personal commitment, Dr. Kubota passionately continues his mission to preserve and restore vision for millions of people across the world.

About Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings

Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd. is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, and was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Tokyo: 4596) in 2016. The company is committed to translating innovation into a diverse portfolio of drugs and devices to preserve and restore the vision for millions of people worldwide.

Media contact:
Name: Iyo Ichikawa

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