The Birth of MiraBiologics
LassoGraft Technology® and subsequently MiraBiologics Inc. were born when professors Hiroaki Suga and Junichi Takagi met. They agreed on the establishment of a new technology (LassoGraft Technology®) by combining the former’s RaPID system with the latter’s excellence as a world-class protein engineering and structure scientist.
Initially, Prof. Takagi was skeptical that RaPID cyclic peptides could be grafted onto a scaffold protein while retaining their original strongly binding property.
But to his surprise, he succeeded in getting grafted proteins keeping the original cyclic peptides’ activities. He tried various proteins as scaffolds, and again, it was proven that the LassoGraft Technology® allows most of them for a scaffold.
The two scientists decided to create a startup company and named Dr. Masuhiro Kato, the former president/chairman of AstraZeneca Japan, as the president of the new company, MiraBiologics Inc. President Kato has many years of experience in drug discovery and drug development in pharmaceutical industry as well as management of a foreign company. This was how MiraBiologics was established in July 2017.
To the future
The wonderful story of LassoGraft Technology® continues; you can find the story in the Science section of this website.
From the Founders
Birth of MiraBiologics
President Kato appeared at BS Fuji “konokuninoyukusue2”, introduced our business (Part 1 and 2).INTERVIEW
We bring “miracles in medicine” to make a better future (mirai) in people’s lives.
By applying LassoGraft technology® to a wide range of fields,we aim to improve the health and well-being of people around the world as a trusted biopharmaceutical drug discovery company.
“Mira” of MiraBiologics Inc, was named from Mira meaning “Future (Mirai in Japanese)” and also meaning “Miracle”. We use LassoGraft Technology® to innovate the field of biologics.
|Company name||MiraBiologics Inc.|
|Location||Komaba Open Laboratory 5F, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0041, Japan|
|Established||July 27, 2017|
|Representative director, president||Masuhiro Kato, Ph.D.|
|No. of employees||11 (as of April 1, 2023)|
After spending 19 years conducting drug discovery research at Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals, he worked with colleagues to successfully discover an antibiotic that is still effective and widely used over 30 years later. He also took on roles in clinical development and as a European representative. In 1996, he joined Zeneca Plc. (later AstraZeneca Plc.) at Alderley Park in the UK as an international regulatory manager. He was in charge of developing a global regulatory strategy to integrate Japan‘s development program into the global program. As a result, he achieved the highest number of Japanese regulatory approvals in a year and enjoyed a compound annual growth rate of nearly 10% during his tenure as President from 2004 to 2011. In 2013, he joined the University of Tokyo as a project professor in the Translational Research Initiative. In 2018, he joined the new start-up bio-venture MiraBiologics as representative director and president.
Graduated from the Faculty of Engineering, Yokohama National University
M.Sc.Eng. from the Tokyo Institute of Technology
Ph.D. from the Gunma University Faculty of Medicine
Harvard Advanced Management Program
Dr. Suga has been a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Graduate School of Science of the University of Tokyo since 2010. He received a Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1994). He was a tenured associate professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo (1997–2003) and a professor at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology of the University of Tokyo (2003–2010). He is the recipient of the Akabori Memorial Award 2014, Max Bergmann Medal 2016, Vincent du Vigneaud Award 2019, ETH Zurich Prelog Medal 2022, Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 2020, Hisayuki Matsuo Award 2022, and Wolf Prize in Chemistry 2023. He also delivered the TY Shen Lecture at MIT in 2022. Additionally, he is the founder of PeptiDream Inc. and MiraBiologics Inc. in Japan.
Junichi Takagi, Ph.D.
Director and Professor at the Institute for Protein Research of Osaka University
Dr. Takagi has been a professor at the Institute for Protein Research of Osaka University since 2003. He received a Ph.D. at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1990 and was appointed an assistant professor at the same university. He served as an instructor at the Harvard Medical School Department of Pathology (1999–2001) and as an assistant professor at the Department of Pediatrics (2002–2003). His research focus is elucidating the mechanisms of cell signaling by employing structural information as well as structure-based protein and antibody engineering. In 2017, he co-founded MiraBiologics Inc.
As chief operating officer, Dr. Igarashi oversees and is responsible for the substantive business operations conducted by MiraBiologics Inc. Until 2016, he was a researcher involved in the production and quality control of oligosaccharides at GlyTech Inc., a bio-venture company. During that time, he was engaged in engineering using glycochemistry. He obtained a master’s degree, a license as a pharmacist at Okayama University, and a Ph.D. at the Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies of the University of Tokyo.
Dr. Fujinami joined Shinsei Corporate Investment in 2016 and Shinsei Capital Partners in 2019. Previously, he worked at Abbott Japan, where for 15 years he developed in vitro diagnostics for cancer, infectious, metabolic, and cardiac diseases. He holds a BS degree in engineering from Osaka City University and an M.Sc.Eng. from the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
After graduating from university, Mr. Aoyagi worked at Mitsubishi Research Institute, where he consulted on energy and environmental policies and social consensus building. After serving as director and senior research fellow, he became an auditor in 2006.
He contributed to the improvement of corporate governance of Mitsubishi Research Institute for its listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
In April 2018, he was appointed as an auditor of MiraBiologics Inc.
Mr. Kamijo worked for 44 years in the banking sector until 2015. At Resona Bank, he was managing director of the Corporate Finance Division (2007–2009) and president and chairman of the board at Saitama Resona Bank (2009–2015).
Thereafter, he was appointed a board member of three listed companies and contributed to improving corporate governance and formulating their succession plans.
He joined MiraBiologics Inc. in 2021 in the role of outside auditor. He works to check and advise on management from an auditor’s perspective.
As an executive officer, Mr. Kubo focuses on the R&D pipeline strategy and its expansion through external research collaboration and business development and licensing. Mr. Kubo joined MiraBiologics Inc. in 2021.
Before joining MiraBiologics Inc., he worked for Daiichi Sankyo for more than 40 years in the areas of clinical development, translational research and development, regulatory affairs, intellectual properties, business development, and expanding global access in Japan, Europe, and the United States.
Mr. Kubo holds a master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Tokyo and currently serves as program manager for exploratory research related to neuromuscular disease funded by the Japan Agency of Medical Research and Development.
Ms. Morishita joined the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan in 1990, engaging in corporate lending and securities management. After working as a secretary in Hiroaki Suga’s laboratory at the University of Tokyo, she served as a board member of a startup bilingual preschool to boost corporate development. After working as an advisor for other startup companies, she joined MiraBiologics in 2017. She graduated from Keio University with a Bachelor of Law degree and is also the director of BLUE FOR JAPAN, an organization that supports children in need of social care.
We welcome partners who are willing to work with us through collaborative research and development to create unique and innovative biopharmaceuticals that have never existed before.
We believe that by combining our partners' expertise and experience with our LassoGraft Technology®, we can create synergies of more than 1+1=3.
If you have any ideas, suggestions, or questions, please contact us below.