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Kubota, SBI Holdings to form JV for ophthalmic drugs and devices development

PBR Staff Writer Published 27 December 2016

Japanese firms Kubota Pharmaceutical and SBI Holdings have agreed to form a joint venture to fund the development of ophthalmic drugs and devices.

Kubota Pharmaceutical will hold 51% stake while the remainder will be held by SBI in the unnamed joint venture which will organize and manage special purpose entities in this regard.

At the same time, the two companies are also looking to negotiate an agreement for setting up and funding the newly formed joint venture’s maiden special purpose entity.

The first such entity for the joint venture is likely to focus on developing mobile healthcare (mHealth) applications in ophthalmology.

mHealth applications will use mobile technology and devices to improve access to healthcare details, enhance distribution of health services covering both routine and emergency and also in delivering diagnostic services.

Apart from that, Kubota Pharma intends to evaluate potential development and commercialization synergies through the first special purpose entity, between its drug product candidates in development stage and the mHealth platform.

According to Kubota, its objective to eradicate blindness by developing ophthalmic drugs and devices, along with SBI’s focus in the medical and pharmaceuticals sector influenced the idea of forming the joint venture.

Further, Kubota Pharma said that the joint venture will allow it to possibly expand its development pipelines as well as capabilities to further its objective.

The company’s pipeline has drug candidates and therapeutics for treating retinitis pigmentosa, intermediate AMD, proliferative diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts and Stargardt disease.

Its joint venture partner, SBI Holdings is an internet-based financial conglomerate which also runs asset management and biotechnology-related businesses.

Image: Kubota Pharmaceutical and SBI Holdings to form a joint venture. Photo: courtesy of Stuart Miles at