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Yokohama life-science companies at 2019 BIO International Convention

by | Jun 6, 2019

Today marks the last day of the 2019 BIO International Convention, closing out a nearly weeklong event filled with partnering and networking opportunities for life science companies of all sizes and from all over the globe. Last year’s BIO Convention was held in Boston, MA, but this year the long-running event made its way to Philadelphia, PA, taking over every floor of the sprawling Philadelphia Convention center. The event began on Friday, May 31st with Business Development Courses for biotech entrepreneurs and quickly ramped up its schedule as the days went by with Entrepreneurship Boot Camps, One-on-One Partnering Sessions, Education Sessions, Company Presentations, and more. Those events continued daily throughout the convention, but BIO 2019 really kicked into high gear when the Exhibition hall opened on Tuesday, June 4th.

BIO attracts over 16,000 attendees each year from over 5000 companies that come to see the 1,800+ exhibitors and sponsors in the exhibition hall. Exhibitors ranged from early-stage startup companies in the biotech space to well-known industry giants. These companies exhibited either at individual booths or as part of larger pavilions, such as those dedicated for US States. Since approximately one third of all attendees are internationally-based, the international presence within the exhibitors was likewise enormous, including the Argentina, UK, Brazilian, Canadian, Taiwan, Australian, France, Italy, Spain, Garman, China, Belgium, South Africa, and Japan pavilions. The Japan pavilion was hosted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).


We were excited to see that three companies with ties to the City of Yokohama were exhibiting at the 2019 BIO International Convention.


One of those companies, GlycoTechnica, was featured in the JETRO pavilion. GlycoTechnica Ltd. is dedicated to innovating, developing and supplying forward-thinking solutions in the field of glycomics. It provides multiple services, including an innovative glycan profiling analysis system called GlycoStation™, lectin microarrays, and washing-free evanescent-field fluorescence excitation scanners. Their main product, GlycoStation, provides clients with the scanning capabilities to reveal essential data from comparisons between glycan profiles from biological samples. For just one example of its myriad use cases, the GlycoStation can highlight the difference in the presence of glycans between HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients. For about 10 years, GlycoTechnica has leveraged its accumulated past business experience and team of scientists involved in the fields of glycobiology and Biosciences to provide innovative services to companies worldwide.


Another company with ties to Yokohama is REPROCELL, which was established in Japan in 2003 but has since expanded internationally, with locations in Europe, India, and the US. While its headquarters in located in Yokohama, Japan, REPROCELL Europe’s Glasgow office, which opened in 2017, was represented at the 2019 BIO International Convention within the Scottish Pavilion. REPROCELL started as a stem cell research company, and while it is still a preeminent leader in the field, it has acquired a number of other companies to provide clients with support along the entire drug discovery pipeline. Multiple international locations allow for simultaneous redundancy checks, while providing time-sensitive services to local companies without the worry of sending fragile samples prone to expiration overseas. REPROCELL’s various array of products and services, including an extensive human tissue network, RNA-based reprogramming and stem cell services, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, precision genome sequencing, drug discovery assays and 3D cell culture models, provide clients unrivalled solutions all the way from target identification to clinical trials


The third company we’d like to feature is Chugai Pharmaceuticals, which had its own large booth on the BIO 2019 exhibition hall floor. One of Japan’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, Chugai is located in Tokyo, Japan. However, Chugai recently announced its decision to open a core research laboratory in Yokohama, called the “Chugai Life Science Park Yokohama.” Chugai specializes in prescription pharmaceuticals, and is actively involved in numerous R&D activities in Japan and abroad. Specifically, Chugai is working to develop innovative products which may satisfy unmet medical needs, with a current primary focus in oncology. Chugai Pharmaceuticals is a member of the Roche group, but retains individual autonomy and is listed on the 1st section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Construction on the Chugai Life Science Park Yokohama is scheduled to begin in August, and we are very excited to welcome Chugai to Yokohama’s extensive network of international life science companies.


We were very excited to see business with connections to Yokohama represented at the 2019 BIO International Convention. This year’s event may have just come to a close, but BIO is already looking ahead to the 2020 BIO, scheduled to take place in San Diego. With San Diego and Yokohama being sister cities, we’re hoping even more Yokohama-based companies will have the chance to exhibit and make important international business connections. Yokohama continues to support its life science companies through its LIP Yokohama (Life Science Platform Yokohama) program, and is always looking for new, innovative biotech companies to bring to its community.


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Read more about Yokohama’s Life Science industry

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