Company Profile

Acucela Inc
Profile last edited on: 12/15/22            CAGE: 46NV0            UEI: FNW1T78KSWC1

Pharmaceutical company focused on targeting diseases that occur in the retina
Year Founded
First Award
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Location Information

1301 Second Avenue Suite 1900
Seattle, WA 98101
   (206) 805-8300
Location: Multiple
Congr. District: 07
County: King

Public Profile

Acucela Inc., a Kubota Pharmaceutical Group company, is organIzed around translating innovation into a diverse portfolio of drugs and devices to preserve and restore vision for millions of people worldwide. In 2016, the firm moved the Corporate HQ to Tokyo. In February 2014, Acucela had began to trade on the Tokyo Exchange - raising an estimated $160M. This is an unusual move with no evidence of any US firm having done this previously but Acuceal has a useful Japanese presence and the Tokyo market is strong. Acucela (pronounced ak-you-cell-la) is developing orally-delivered visual cycle modulation (VCM) therapies that selectively target cells within the retina to protect visual acuity. These compounds have the potential to treat blinding eye diseases, including the dry form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), that affect tens of millions of people around the world. Modulating the visual cycle has been shown to protect the retina from light damage, to improve retinal vasculature and to reduce the accumulation of retinal-related toxic by-products such as A2E, which is implicated in AMD. In preclinical and clinical studies, Acucela’s novel proprietary VCM compounds demonstrated the ability to slow the visual cycle in multiple blinding eye diseases including dry AMD, retinopathy of prematurity, Stargardt disease and diabetic retinopathy. AMD is a leading cause of blindness in the United States and is estimated to affect more than 29 million people worldwide – a number that is expected to double in the next 20 years due to the aging population of the world. About 90 percent of AMD patients suffer from the dry form of the disease. Acucela launched its Phase 2 Clinical Trial, evaluating the investigational oral treatment ACU-4429, in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD) in January 2010. The trial builds upon the promising preclinical findings and data from Acucela’s Phase 1 clinical studies. These Phase 1 data have been presented at key scientific meetings and provide support and clinical rationale for Acucela’s ACU-4429 clinical development program in patients with dry AMD. In March 2010, Acucela received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for ACU-4429 for the treatment of dry AMD. Acucela's VCM compounds have a good safety profile: they are non-retinoid and can be administered orally, unlike current therapeutics for many eye diseases, which must be injected into the eye. Although primary focus is on developing safe and effective treatments for AMD, we also have programs underway to create next-generation therapeutics for other potentially devastating ophthalmic diseases, including glaucoma, dry eye syndrome, Stargardt disease, retinopathy of prematurity, and diabetic retino

Extent of SBIR involvement

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Synopsis: Awardee Business Condition

Employee Range
Revenue Range
VC funded?
Publicly Traded
Stock Info
TYO - Toky : 4589
IP Holdings

Awards Distribution by Agency

Most Recent SBIR Projects

Year Phase Agency Total Amount
2007 1 NIH $99,295
Project Title: Identifying Cytoprotectants for Photoreceptors and RPE Cells to Treat Dry AMD
2007 1 NIH $100,000
Project Title: In Vitro Assay to Assess Chemical Toxicity in Retinal Primary Cell Cultures

Key People / Management

  Ryo Kubota -- President Chairman and ceo

  Michelle Carpenter -- Senior VP Regulatory Affairs

  Ted Danse -- Chief Business Officer

  Hien DeYoung -- VP Human Resources

  John Gebhart -- Chief Financial Officer; Treasurer and Secretary

  David W Leung

  David Lowrance -- CFO

  Karin Ludwig -- VP Clinical Development

  Keiko Mitsunobu -- Alliance Management and Business Development

  Francesca Nolam -- Director of Comunications

  Hans-Peter Pfleger -- VP Commercial perations and Staratgic Marketing

  Raymond D Price

  Lukas Scheibler -- Executive Vice President, R&D

  Susan Schneider -- VP Retina

  Sy-Shi Wang