Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Mujo Kim


Pharma Foods International Co., Ltd.



Originally, I was a scientist, but the biotech boom in 1990’s pushed me towards entrepreneurship. In 1997, with my extensive experience as a scientist and a manager, I established a biotech venture, Pharma Foods International Co., Ltd. I wanted to go directly into the pharmaceutical industry, but I had to choose another way because of the financial conditions. So, I began my business with functional foods using biologically active substances which were not well recognised and unmarked at that time.

During the past 2 decades, our company has made success by discovering the hidden powers of foods and commercialising them, and we established a particular position in the functional food industry. And now we’re focusing on the drug discovery business with our proprietary technology,  "ALAgene®, which is a monoclonal antibody production system from chicken.

As a group focused on R&D, our responsibilities to provide valuable wealth and health for the new 100-year life era will still continue.


1970      Bachelor of Science, Korea University

1979      Ph.D. in Agriculture, Kyoto University

1983      Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, Berkeley



1991      Joined Taiyo Kagaku Co., Ltd. as Managing Director

1998      Established Pharma Foods International Co., Ltd. as President



1994      Technical Award, Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry

2002      Kinki Bio Industries Conference Award, Japan Bio-Venture Awards

2003      Kyoto Small and Medium Enterprise Excellent Technology Awards

2005      Special Chairperson Award, Japan Venture Awards 2004

2006      Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Japan


Areas of Expertise

Natural Products Chemistry


Biomedical Science


What have been the main lessons you have learned in your career and how do you implement them in your management?

There are so many books about management, but in reality, they don’t always work. And what I have learned through my long-time struggles and experiences as a researcher and a manager/CEO is that people are the most important asset. They are the key driver for a company to make a success.

Luckily, I’m blessed with good multinational staff. They are ambitious, show good conduct and respect, and pursue in high performance. We're all different in nationality, philosophy, responsibility, but we're connected by science here.

Difference creates innovation.



My mentor is Dr Takehiko Yamamoto, a Japanese professor of enzyme engineering, who I met in the U.S. I was very impressed by his knowledge, behaviour, and personality. Without his indication/guidance, I would not have established my company.



“Be Crazy”, is what I usually told my staff at the time I established my company. As we were a newborn bio-venture, we had to do something different, new and surprising from others. We were not just an intellectual group of R&D, but focused on foods and discovered their hidden power from a unique point of view beyond the common knowledge.

 “Be Bold” is what I expect from my staff now as a next stage after we made some success with many proprietary ingredients. Without fear of failure, we are always challenging new category/business including drug discovery, to provide valuable wealth and health for the coming 100-year life.



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