基調講演・対談/Keynote Speech & Dialogue

The keynote speakers were Dr. Johannes Fruehauf, CEO of LabCentral/Biolabs, a world leader in healthcare and operator of incubation facilities in Boston, and Mr. Haruhiko Morita, CEO of Modalis, a company that develops treatments for rare diseases using genome editing technology. He also has a lab in Cambridge, Greater Boston.

Dr. Fruehauf explained the characteristics of startup ecosystem of universities and research institutions in Boston. He also shared his excitement about moving forward with discussions on setting up a lab with the city of Kyoto, with whom they signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in October 2019.

Mr. Morita presented his experience of listing his company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers market, four years and seven months after its founding despite the "new corona disaster," and shared his tips on how to acquire talent and raise funds to help startups grow in the life sciences sector.

Biolabs誕生秘話 / The "Biolabs" Way of Building Biotech Companies

The reason why Greater Boston is the most attractive area for startup companies in the world is because it has the 7 essential elements for successful startup creation to perfectly co-exist and densely relate to one another.

  1. Academic excellence/ Basic research
  2. Supportive TLO practices
  3. Diverse talent base
  4. Industry support
  5. Space/ Lab functionality
  6. Knowledgeable venture capital
  7. Supportive environment -cultural/ governmental

Johannes Fruehauf, MD, PhD, Founder / Co-founder of LabCentral, Biolabs


Dr. Fruehauf is a biotechnology entrepreneur and investor with a track record of building and growing successful companies. He is a physician-scientist experienced in the development of complex biologics programs from bench into the clinic, including the first oral RNAi drug to enter the clinic. Co-founder and general partner at BioInnovation Capital, now MissionBioCapital.
Founder/Co-founder of LabCentral, Cambridge Biolabs, BioLabs North Carolina, Philadelphia, San Diego, New York, Princeton, Tufts, Los Angeles; BioInnovation Capital, ViThera, Cequent, German Life Science Accelerator.

スタートアップの知恵 / Some Wisdom for Startups

Some Wisdoms

  • A seed is an ingredient. How to cook and who to cook is more important.
  • Test your Idea to revise your concept and pivot your business.
  • Only your commitment solves the typical startup's problem, the lack of money, product, and talent.
  • Unless you cover up everything, things stay there undone.
  • Money from VCs is not easy money.
  • Startups need to be flexible, so instead of sticking to Japan, make sure you leverage your funding, intellectual property and talent globally.

Watch your back to keep your CEO position!

(株)モダリス 代表取締役CEO 森田晴彦氏 / Haruhiko Morita, CEO, Modalis Therapeutics,Corp.

Mr. Morita is an exuberant entrepreneur as well as a dynamic investor whose leadership and strategic vision drives Modalis toward success from his co-foundation in 2016. He has more than 25 years of biotech industry leadership experience, most recently serving 8 years as president and CEO of REGiMMUNE Corporation, a company he founded to leverage the power of regulatory T cells to manage difficult-to-treat immune conditions such as GVHD (now in clinical trials). Before that he took a leading role in business development at Y's Therapeutics Inc. which aspired for a novel biotherapeutics using antibody technology. As a scientist, Mr. Morita played a pioneering role in the research and development of thrombopoietin (aka TPO or MGDF) at KIRIN (merged into Kyowa-Kirin Co., Ltd.(TSE:4151)). He acquired extensive business and consulting experiences at Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. (merged into Strategy & of PwC) where he engaged in numerous projects across various industry sectors.

対談 / Dialogue

What are the differences and similarities among Germany, Japan, and Boston?

Dr. Fruehauf Good basic research exists in Japan and Germany as same as in Boston. For example, iPS-Cells and immune checkpoint inhibitors were generated in Kyoto University as you know. However, the environment in which good scientists are changed into successful entrepreneurs is much superior in Boston.

Mr. Morita Boston is a very unique place that attracts talent from all over the world. Boston is extremely diverse even in the US. In addition to the rich human resources, there is a flexible employment situation that allows startups to hire talented people at their peak, unlike in Japan.