Kubota Vision Inc.


Ryo Kubota, MD, PhD

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Ryo Kubota is an ophthalmologist by training who has performed more than 1,000 eye surgeries. Dr. Kubota spent his early career performing ocular research at Keio University, where he earned his MD and PhD. There, he discovered the glaucoma gene, myocilin, a discovery that earned him the Suda Award for his contribution to the field of neurodegenerative retinal disease. Dr. Kubota continued his research at the University of Washington and later licensed his findings from the university as the core technology on which he founded Kubota Vision Inc. (formerly known as Acucela Inc.) in 2002 in Seattle to develop novel therapeutics for patients with blinding eye diseases. During the formative years of the company, Dr. Kubota raised more than $40 million over three rounds of private financing, including a $25 million Series C in March 2007. Pre-IPO investors include SBI Holdings (lead investor), Olympus, Fuji Film and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance. In 2008, Dr. Kubota brought in research collaboration revenue from Otsuka Pharmaceuticals totaling $269 million. Then in 2014, Kubota Vision made a successful Initial Public Offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Board and raised $149 million at the IPO. Dr. Kubota has raised over $450 million in total for Kubota Vision.

In December 2016, following a redomicile transaction, Kubota Vision Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd. of Japan and Kubota Pharma listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Board (Tokyo 4596). The company is committed to translating innovation into a diverse portfolio of drugs and devices to preserve and restore vision for millions of people worldwide. Kubota Pharmaceutical group's development pipeline includes drug candidates for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, Stargardt disease, and optogenetics-based gene therapy for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa. The company is also developing a handheld OCT device for the monitoring of neovascular retinal diseases, to be used directly by patients, and wearable device for myopia control.

Dr. Kubota holds an MD and a PhD in medicine from Keio University. He has served as a faculty member at Keio University and at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He was board certified in ophthalmology by the Japanese Ophthalmological Society in 1996 and is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), the Japanese Ophthalmology Society, Keio Medical Society, the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ), and the America-Japan Society, Inc.

Since 2008, Dr. Kubota has been a director of the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington. He is also a board member of the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR). He is an official columnist for Forbes Japan and the Japan Times, as well as an editorial member of newspaper for Keio University, School of Medicine. In 2019, he was appointed as a NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) Investigator.

Board of Directors

Ryo Kubota, MD, PhD

Representative Executive Officer, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd.
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kubota Vision Inc.


Mikio Fukai

Director, Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd.
Director, Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Kubota Vison Inc.

Shintaro Asako

Outside director, Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd.
Outside director, Kubota Vison Inc.
Outside director, Kura Sushi USA, Inc.
Outside director, Uzabase, Inc.
Outside director, 7-Eleven, Inc.
Outside director, Inglewood Co., Ltd.

Advisory Board

David G. Birch, PhD

Research Director, Retina Foundation of the Southwest, Director of the Rose-Silverthorne Retinal Degenerations Laboratory, Dallas

Karl G. Csaky, MD, PhD

T. Boone Pickens Senior Scientist, Director, Harrington Molecular Laboratory, Member, Texas Retina Associates

Pravin U. Dugel, MD

Managing Partner, Retinal Consultants of Arizona

Dean Eliott, MD

Co-Director, Mass Eye & Ear, Vitrectomy Course, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Jeffrey S. Heier, MD

Vitreoretinal Specialist, Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston

Frank G. Holz, MD

Chairman & Professor of the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Bonn, Germany

Anne S. Lindblad, PhD

Executive Vice President, The EMMES Corporation

Carl D. Regillo, MD, FACS

Director, Retina Service, Wills Eye Institute-Mid-Atlantic Retina; Professor, Ophthalmology, Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine

Philip J. Rosenfeld, MD, PhD

Professor, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Palm Beach Gardens University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Gaurav K. Shah, MD, PhD

Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences; Director of Vitreoretinal Fellowship Program, Washington University School of Medicine

Michael A. Singer, MD

Vitreoretinal Surgeon and Managing Partner, Medical Center Ophthalmology Associates; Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Texas Health Center

Janet S. Sunness, MD

Medical Director of Hoover Rehabilitation Services for Low Vision and Blindness, Greater Baltimore Medical Center

Kang Zhang, MD, PhD

Professor of Ophthalmology & Human Genetics, Shiley Eye Center, University of California San Diego

Eberhart Zrenner, MD

Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Director of the Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Centre for Ophthalmology, University of Tuebingen, Germany