Specializing in healthcare and life sciences, Dojin is poised to be a key player not only in the Japanese biotechnology field, but worldwide as it leverages the synergistic benefits of its group company setup.
“We aim to create a world where all diseases can be treated with the power of biotechnology.”
Keima Ueno, CEO, Dojin Group
Since its founding in 1913, Japanese firm Dojin has sought to improve people’s health through innovation, and its unique technology can help make a wider positive impact as it expands globally. Dojin focuses on areas such as immunity, antibodies and genes – fields where technological innovation has progressed significantly in recent years – and develops pharmaceuticals, diagnostic agents and regenerative medicine.
The company’s recent progress comes as part of a wider trend in Japan in the field of regenerative medicine. In 2014, the Japanese government brought in a regulatory framework to promote innovation, research and development in the field, something which has allowed the country’s companies to match and even better global advancements.
Dojin’s groundbreaking work in the field of cancer immunotherapy typifies the progress it seeks to make through R&D. Immunotherapy is less invasive than other methods such as chemotherapy and utilizes the mechanism our bodies already possess to fight cancer cells through our immune system. Blood is collected from patients and cells immune to cancer are isolated before being cultured and infused back into the patient.
Dojin’s patented technology simultaneously proliferates and activates six types of immune cells, increasing the number of cells more than 300-fold after culture.
As company CEO Keima Ueno explains: “This treatment has an efficacy rate of over 70% and is characterized by almost no side effects because it increases and returns the immune cells that are originally in the patient's body.”
In addition to the area of cancer immunotherapy, Dojin is developing proprietary technologies in multiple areas of regenerative medicine. In the field of orthopedic surgery, the company has launched a new product to alleviate knee joint pain and has already treated many patients. In addition, it plans to introduce new products in the areas of skin, dental care, and fertility treatment.
As a holding group, Dojin’s business is spread over multiple divisions, each with an important role to play. The company is always looking for synergies among the divisions, for example its patented antigen-antibody reaction technology is used in multiple fields within the group, such as in the development of antibody drugs, diagnostic agents and chemical reagents.
As the Dojin group continues to expand, Mr. Ueno recognizes the importance of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) for its business strategy, explaining: “Because biotechnology requires a lot of time for R&D, if we were to proceed with our drug development by doing everything from scratch it would take a tremendous amount of time. Therefore the optimal strategy is M&As.” The company’s main focus is expansion in the Asian markets such as China, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia, while in the long-term Dojin also has an eye on African markets with high population growth such as Nigeria, Kenya, and Democratic Republic of Congo.