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Representing the UK in Japan

This month rather than showcasing one company from our region, we want to celebrate the ten fantastic organisations from around the UK that joined us for our visits to Japan and South Korea this year.

A massive thank you to all the companies that joined the UK delegation to BioJapan this year. They all did a stellar job representing UK excellence in the life sciences sector, making this year one of the most successful and memorable yet. You can view the full UK delegation brochure for BioJapan 2019 here. And down for a selection of photos from the pavilion and UK reception

ARJUNA Therapeutics

Based: London

Represented by: Ross Breckenridge

A biotech developing an entirely novel class of orally available small molecule to address currently un-treatable cancers. Arjuna wholly owns a pipeline of molecules that are active via novel mechanisms in cancer and several other therapeutic areas.

The mechanism of action of our lead drug, Ag5, targets cancer cells generating high levels of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). High ROS tumours are, in general, untreatable. This group of cancers includes KRAS-mutation driven cancers, which comprise around 30% of all cancers, and the worst prognosis group. There is currently no treatment for KRAS mutant cancers, which lead to more than 1 million deaths worldwide every year.

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), the commonest primary brain cancer, is also a high-ROS cancer, despite the absence of mutated KRAS. There have been no new treatment options in GBM for 20 years, and prognosis is poor-averaging 18 months. Primary brain cancers are now the commonest cause of cancer death in children. An effective medicine targeting KRAS mutant cancers would be one of the most valuable cancer drugs, and a major advance for patients and their families, who are given zero hope of long-term survival at diagnosis of conditions driven by mutant KRas, such as pancreatic cancer.

We have a follow-on compound and a pipeline of innovative molecules addressing both cancer and non-cancerous conditions.


Based: London

Represented by: Tony Chalk, Tony White and Neil Richards

BioPhorum’s mission is to create environments where the global biopharmaceutical and cell and gene therapy industries collaborate to accelerate progress. In their open and trusted Phorums, over 3000 industry leaders and subject matter experts come together to resolve seemingly intractable problems with industry wide solutions. BioPhorum consists of more than 80 manufacturers and suppliers, representing all the top biopharmaceutical license holders. Together they articulate the industry’s technology roadmap, drive advances in supply techniques, and develop and harmonize non-competitive best practices in process development, manufacturing and IT across the industry.

CN BIO Innovations

Based: Welwyn Garden City

Represented by: Paul Davies

CN Bio develops human organ-on-chip technologies that enable the formation of miniature models of human organs in the lab. This platform recreates the physiological and mechanical micro-environment of organs as well as permitting long-term culture of primary human cells, iPSC and cell lines.

We provide products and services to the biotechnology industry and have used our proprietary organ-on-chip models in drug discovery and drug safety programs with over 25 pharmaceutical companies.

Creative Places

Based: Cambridge

Represented by: Jonathan Burroughs

Creative Places is a real-estate expert for the research/R&D sectors.  Using its specialist understanding of property, ecosystems and stakeholder motivations, the company helps clients plan, create, manage and invest in productive, collaborative places.

We combine an understanding of academic and clinical research and R&D occupier needs with commercial property, place making and investment know-how to make places thrive – be they innovation districts, research and R&D campuses, research intensive hospital environments, innovation centres or incubators. We have expert knowledge from having worked on the majority of the leading R&D Life Sciences developments across the UK.  Our continuing work on these successful projects gives us an unparalleled wealth of data, insights, models and knowledge to draw on and apply to future projects.


Based: Cambridge

Represented by: Marcus Yeo

DefiniGEN has world-leading expertise in the area of iPSC production and metabolic disease modelling. The company has a unique platform technology for generating phenotypically validated human cell disease models for a range of rare metabolic and liver diseases, to optimize preclinical drug discovery.  DefiniGEN’s proprietary OptiDIFF platform generates terminally differentiated human cells of endodermal lineage from iPSCs. We provide iPSC-derived hepatocytes, pancreatic cells and intestinal organoids from healthy and diseased donors which closely resemble human primary cells.

Off-the shelf products include wild-type hepatocytes; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency; Glycogen storage disease type 1a; Familial hypercholesterolemia; Intestinal 3D Organoids; Intestinal Transwell Monolayer; Wild-type pancreatic beta cells; MODY3 Diabetes and Neonatal Diabetes

The application of these technologies in drug discovery provides pharmaceutical companies with more predictive in vitro human cell products enabling safer and more effective treatments. This technology platform can be combined with our cutting edge CRISPR gene-editing service to produce a wide range of bespoke validated disease model cell products enabling pharmaceutical companies to effectively reprofile and reposition their drug libraries.


Based: London

Represented by: Alistair Sword and Michael Fitzgerald

PHASTAR is a global CRO offering statistical consulting, clinical trial reporting, data management and data science services by providing expert consultants and managing and delivering in-house projects, FSP-style arrangements and preferred partnerships. Our number one priority is to ensure that the work we produce is of the highest quality: every project PHASTAR undertakes is supervised on methodology and utilises internal processes designed to ensure optimal quality. Services include: production of clinical study reports including generating tables, figures and listings; study design and protocol writing; modelling and simulation; machine learning and artificial intelligence; and advice on handling missing data across phase I to IV trials. PHASTAR has over 250 staff across 10 offices worldwide.


Based: Northern Ireland

Represented by: Alan Stitt

VascVersa is a regenerative medicine company developing a unique methodology to generate a specific population of blood-derived vascular stem cells called ANGICYTE.  Spinning out as a technology from Queen’s University Belfast’s academic researchers, the ANGICYTE advanced therapeutic medicinal product is highly pure with a defined molecular phenotype and mode of action, with proven efficacy in a range of pre-clinical disease systems. VascVersa is seeking to deliver a new, exciting cell therapy to treat ischaemic diseases and promote rapid wound repair.

Random 42

Based: London

Represented by: Rikesh Patel and Laura Price

Random42 is the global leader in providing digital scientific communication solutions to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. With over 27 years’ experience, the company has grown into the largest within the industry, winning over 185 awards for its high-quality medical animation and scientific storytelling.

The company specialising in cutting-edge and visually engaging digital solutions, including: Medical Animation; Scientific Virtual Reality Augmented Reality; Interactive Touchscreens; Interactive Experiences and Applications; Booth Design and Exhibition Experiences ; Web and Print.

We bring challenging medical and scientific concepts to life, making them simple, beautiful and easy to digest. We pride ourselves on providing scientific accuracy and film-grade animation. Every project is designed to enable clients to relay complex scientific information into a deliverable that elevates a product or disease area to a new level of understanding

Watch the video Ramdom42 produced for the UK stand here.


Based: Manchester

Represented by: Mark Aspinall-O’Dea and Nicholas Brown

Retrogenix provides a fast, accurate and effective solution for primary receptor identification and specificity screening of antibodies, protein ligands, CAR T cells, viruses and small molecules.

Retrogenix works with small biotechs and leading CAR T developers through to major pharmaceutical companies, currently helping nineteen of the world’s top twenty drug developers to bring new therapeutics to market faster. The company currently holds two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise – the UK’s highest accolade for business performance – in recognition of its innovation and its success in international trade.

“Our proprietary cell microarray technology uncovers high quality, exploitable drug targets and mechanisms of action for our clients as well as identifying potential off-targets to inform lead selection, assist with safety assessment and provide valuable data that can support regulatory submissions. Biologically-relevant targets are identified by screening for interactions against an extensive set of unmodified plasma membrane and tethered secreted proteins that are expressed in the context of human cells. Even low affinity interactions can be detected with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity, with minimal false positives.”

Richmond Pharmacology

Based: London

Represented by: Jorg Taubel

Richmond Pharmacology is a research institute with a global reputation for excellence in clinical research, founded in 2001. The company is a leading early phase full-service Contract Research Organisation (CRO) in the UK, with unrivalled central state-of-the-art facilities and funding.

Richmond’s clinical trials are often complex, cutting edge and conducted in important disease areas, including oncology and rare genetic diseases such as amyloidosis. Based at its clinical research facility by the campus of Guy’s Hospital and Kings College London, the company works with NHS and academic partners to conduct clinical trials, and has completed over 300 trials in the UK since 2001.

We have established our leadership position through global recognition of our competence in performing complex, adaptive early phase trials. As a fully MHRA-accredited CRO, our 100+ skilled staff carries out clinical trials to the highest ethical and medical standards. We interact with clinical and academic specialists in their respective fields and with over 250,000 volunteers, patients, and patient groups registered on our database. Our research meets the highest regulatory, scientific and ethical requirements. Our research capabilities are broad, with extensive experience delivering Japanese Ethnic Bridging studies, TQT, and Adaptive early phase (Phase 1/2a) trials.

In Pictures


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