The 21st Century is called the life science era, where life science and biotechnology will play a main role on the life, industry, and technology. Now we are already in the third regeneration of biotechnology where human genome information is utilized and medicine and usable materials are being developed on the basis of human genome information and its functional analysis.
The disease we face in the 21st Century to overcome in this aging society is life-style related disease and among them, cancer has become the prime cause of death in Japan since 1980. In 2005, cancer was responsible for 325,885 deaths, two times as many as cardiac disease, the second cause of the death in Japan. In this aging society, half of the male and a third of the female in Japan suffer from cancer at least once in their lives. Cancer has become common disease and people expect that the revolutional medical method for cancer which can detect diseased parts in the cell level earlier and cure the parts gently without affecting normal cells.

In the gene therapy where genome science is fully utilized but globally only two drugs are admitted into market in China, a great many number of researches are conducted worldwide with a large sum of public funds. There is, however, so called death valley between promising research seeds and a threshold of real drug development. Drug discovery is a technology directly linked with life and death of us, human beings, so that proving its safety and efficacy to the man is the cornerstone of drug development. It has become the norm that Mega or established pharmaceutical companies do not start considering license-in or collaborative development until the seed has got into First-In-Man (FIM) stage, or Phase I trial.
We have established Momotaro-Gene Inc., start-up biotech company to cross this valley and achieve the benefit of the society with new promising drugs. Momotaro is a legendary hero of Okayama and as its name shows we will foster and establish the promising seeds from Okayama and other universities in Chugoku and Shikoku regions in Japan.
Our first seed is REIC, reduced expression in immortalized cells, which is a new tumor suppressor gene isolated and identified at Okayama University. REIC can be the real magic bullet which satisfies all the requisitions for cancer treatment; it can apply to many kinds of cancer, selectively kill cancer cells without harming normal cells, induce potent anti-tumor immunity, and may lead to preventing cancer and also developing new molecular targeting drugs. The abnormality of REIC is observed almost 100% in prostate cancer, approximately 90% in malignant mesothelioma, and also high rate in many other cancers including liver cancer.
We would like to conduct the FIM for prostate cancer with adenovirus vector REIC (Ad-REIC) in Japan and the US to establish its proof of concept (POC), which will enable us to collaborate with domestic and global pharmaceutical companies.
We start our challenge to contribute sustainable development in an aging society by securing the extension of non-bedridden life and to help those who suffer from cancer world-wide. We look forward to having the day when our REIC will give a real benefit to the society.

August 17, 2007
Founders of Momotaro-Gene Inc.

Momotaro-Gene Inc.