Japanese chemical firm Toray partners with QB3@953 to pursue breakthroughs in treatment of neurological diseases

One Bench at a Time

Japanese chemical firm Toray partners with QB3@953 to pursue breakthroughs in treatment of neurological diseases

San Francisco, CA, May 11, 2017
QB3@953, the Bay Area’s premier life science incubator, welcomes Japan’s chemical giant Toray as its newest partner. The arrangement offers Toray the opportunity to nurture its budding pharmaceutical enterprise while bringing new expertise and trans-Pacific relationships to QB3@953’s research community.

Toray, which currently has a drug on the market in Japan for chronic itch, is something of a newcomer to drug development. “Toray is a big company, but our pharmaceutical division feels like a start-up,” says Ko Hasebe, Director of Pharmaceutical Research and Marketing, who is heading up the company’s research in the incubator. “This is a new kind of endeavor to Toray, and people at QB3@953 have a lot of start-up enthusiasm. It’s a really uplifting atmosphere.”

Toray is using this lab space to collaborate with US academia, and to develop small-molecule drugs to treat chronic itch, pain and neurodegenerative disease. In addition, he’ll be offering seminars and office hours, bringing insight from across the Pacific to the labs of Bay Area entrepreneurs.

“This new relationship with Toray brings more than a great new sponsor to the incubator,” says QB3@953 general manager Doug Crawford. “It is an exciting experiment: it seeks to narrow the divide between big and small companies – providing an exciting new model of innovation. It provides the opportunity for our resident small companies an intimate chance to identify market opportunities for their technology and a better insight into the data necessary to win a partnership; and it gives Toray a chance to embrace startup energy.”

Toray will focus on identifying new drug targets for the treatment of chronic itch, pain and neurodegenerative diseases, when successful, could attenuate abnormal signal transduction, ceasing the itchy and painful sensation and accumulation of harmful substances in central nervous system..

Not limited to the pharmaceuticals, Toray, an integrated chemical company, also has been engaging in the R&D of medical and wearable devices (e.g. dialyzer, cardiac catheters, conductive textile/fiber) with our original advanced materials.

About QB3@953

QB3@953 is San Francisco’s leading biotech incubator. Its fully equipped laboratories are available to entrepreneurs one bench at a time, allowing enterprising researchers to greatly accelerate their R&D and substantially lower their capital requirements. The incubator’s 24,000 square foot lab and office building is home to 40 of the Bay Area’s most promising biotech startups. QB3@953 provides state-of-the-art facilities, including a core facility with millions of dollars worth of equipment, administrative support, skilled laboratory technicians, seminars, and a terrific community of entrepreneurial scientists. In addition, startups have access to Mission Bay Capital, a venture firm focused on making pivotal, early-stage investments in bioscience companies. Together, these resources enable fledgling companies to reach critical milestones faster while lowering the capital barriers many startups face.

About Toray
Toray Group is an integrated chemical industry group developing its business in 26 countries and regions worldwide. Toray Group combines nanotechnology with its core technologies of organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry and biotechnology, based on which it globally develops the Foundation Businesses of fibers & textiles and plastics & chemicals as well as businesses such as IT-related products, carbon fiber composite materials, pharmaceuticals & medical products, environment & engineering including water treatment.


Douglas Crawford, QB3@953 General Manager
Ph: 415-205-4825

Ko Hasebe, Toray Director of Pharmaceutical Research and Planning
Ph. 650-314-8002

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