Barriers of knowledge in biopharmaceutical research and development in Japan

Takaaki Ohara, Seigo Nasu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this research was to explore major barriers and issues in knowledge for biopharmaceutical research and development (R&D) in Japan and discuss why Japan had lagged behind Western nations in the field of biopharmaceutical R&D. Cases of three therapeutic antibodies and one therapeutic protein originating and released in Japan were studied and the Web of Science Core Collection was used to analyze biopharmaceutical drugs of Japan and the US with various indexes. Analysis results suggested that establishment of a high-level clinical research network connected with global networks would lead to development of blockbusters. Many of Japanese pharmaceutical companies failed to establish such clinical research network and this is presumably one reason of the gap between Japan and Western nations. On the other hand, acquisition and exchange of knowledge within and between organizations were also explored. The few successful Japanese companies acquired not only formal knowledge but also implicit knowledge for various R&D phases from basic researches to applied researches from top pharmaceutical companies of Western nations, whereas most Japanese companies have not successfully acquired such knowledge. It was assumed that this has also contributed to the gap from Western counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-40
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Commercial Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Indices for research assessment
  • Japanese Biopharmaceutical
  • Knowledge
  • R&D Management
  • Therapeutic Antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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