When biotech companies or academia make alliances with pharmaceutical companies, they face a plethora of difficulties; not having enough resources and connections to reach out global life science industry. There exists a huge asymmetry of information between small biotech companies and large pharmaceutical companies. The biotech companies and academia have great needs in licensing, partnering, making alliances and M&As to advance their researches but they lack the resources to proceed with these activities. This became a barrier to the innovation of the whole industry.
Hideyuki Hirama incorporated Gemseki because he saw these problems.“I wanted to contribute to the life science community using my finance background to enhance innovation,” explains Hirama. “The industry needs to change, but there has been little effort to solve these issues.”
Armed with a finance background, and MBA degree from Harvard Business School, Hideyuki Hirama, President & CEO of Gemseki, chose to work in the life science industry and became one of the unique, most sought after leader owing to his diverse experience.
" Open innovation is needed more than ever in the life science industry and the platform, together with Hirama and his team’s hands-on support, serves this purpose "
Initiating Open Innovation
Gemseki has been trying to address these issues via its webbased platform “Drug Candidate Marketplace” to list available assets for partnering.
Drug Candidate Marketplace lists the information of drug candidates, therapeutic targets and drug discovery technologies. Open innovation is needed more than ever in the life science industry and the platform, together with Hirama and his team’s hands-on support, serves this purpose. “This can be a tool for partnering and close the information gap among players,” he adds. “In addition, Gemseki has more than 15 members including Open advisors to globally help out partnering and licensing knowing that the transaction is not a commodity and Gemseki needs to help deeply.” Knowing biotech start-ups or academia have difficulties in paying upfront, Hirama decided charging only success fees to out-licensors contingent on deal closing. Thus, Gemseki is totally aligned with its clients, and Gemseki charges only when they bring values to clients.
In an instance, one of the company’s clients, a renowned biotech research-oriented company,was facing trouble with administering and managing business issues and the CEO was unable to manage the situation singlehandedly as he wanted to drive more research. The client engaged Gemseki to take care of all their business developments, roping in new potential partners and assisting in negotiations, hence, freeing up the internal members of the company to focus on developing the company and increase their ROI.
Towards the Future
From the beginning of April, Gemsekihas been offering free partnering and licensing platform services to combat COVID-19 which has become a pandemic around the globe. Though Gemseki is a start-up, it wants to contribute in the fight towards the deadly virus and has decided to take this free program action very quickly. “If assets are targeted to COVID-19, we can list them in our Drug Candidate Marketplace, and help out partnering and licensing for free. This kind of idea and move came from our mission statement:‘We strive to make contributions to humanity and society by supporting the best development of valuable drug candidates’,” says Hirama. “We would like to have a world that everyone and every country can unite together beyond borders.”
Gemseki has come a long way from being a business development platform company to a more robust platform company in the life science industry by adding more capabilities. Since Gemseki is a part of Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories (SNBL), Ltd. group, the largest preclinical contract research organization in Japan, Hirama aims at providing total solution with its group companies. “As a part of SNBL group, Gemseki can arrange wider supports for life science industry such as preclinical study supports. Thus, Gemseki, with its group companies, can provide a holistic platform to incubate and grow biotech companies.”
Another plan is to add investment capabilities. “Biotech companies and academia have difficulties to connect with pharmaceutical companies in right ways, and our business development platform can serve this purpose. But, they often need more data and developments to persuade potential partners, and Gemseki is considering to support closing these gaps to offer our investment,” adds Hirama.
Under the current COVID-19 pandemic, the society recognizes the importance of alliances and open innovation in the industry while realizing the lack of players who promote these activities. Hirama says, “I hope Gemseki can contribute to the society and people by offering the best treatment as early as possible through the appropriate alliances and partnering of innovative drug candidates and technologies.”
Hideyuki Hirama, CEO
The mission of Gemseki Inc. is “We strive to make contributions to humanity and society by supporting the best development of valuable drug candidates.”