Dr. Ryuji Ueno is an internationally recognized researcher in pharmacology, physiology and the biochemistry of endogenic functional fatty acids and their related compounds. Dr. Ueno is a co-founder of the Sucampo Group, an international affiliation of pharmaceutical research, development and manufacturing companies. Dr. Ueno was trained and certified as a Medical Doctor at Keio University School of Medicine in Japan. He spent his academic career in the fields of pharmacology, physiology and biochemistry at Columbia University (USA), Kyoto University (Japan), Osaka University (Japan) and Stanford University (USA). As a leading expert in his field, Dr. Ueno has authored more than 100 articles in notable scientific journals.
In the 1980s, Dr. Ueno started pharmaceutical development based on his research with prostones, a class of functional fatty acids whose tremendous therapeutic potential Dr. Ueno first identified. This class of lipids is the subject of over 650 patents worldwide, which are now exclusively held by the Sucampo Group. After 10 years of biomedical research, Dr. Ueno, together with Dr. Sachiko Kuno, established R-Tech Ueno, Ltd. in Japan, the first Sucampo Group company to engage in the research and development of new chemical substances discovered by him. The first product, Rescula®‚ an anti-glaucoma treatment, was commercialized in Japan in 1994. Rescula® Eye Drops have been sold in more than 45 countries and have treated more than 500,000 patients since its launch. R-Tech Ueno in 2008 completed its IPO and is listed on Osaka Stock Exchange.
Leveraging the success in Japan, Dr. Ueno in partnership with Dr. Kuno established Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to bring his discoveries to the American markets. Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was founded in 1996 as R-Tech Ueno (USA), Inc., in Bethesda, Maryland, received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for AMITIZA® (lubiprostone), the second prostone product discovered by Dr. Ueno and developed by Drs’ talented group of R&D team, for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation in adults in 2006 and for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in 2008. Sucampo since 2006 took major strides in becoming a global, emerging pharmaceutical company by establishing its own commercial sales and marketing capacity, filing for Initial Public Offering, and acquiring the overseas affiliates in the U.K., Japan and Switzerland with an aim to expand operations and address commercial opportunities of prostone products worldwide. Sucampo is listed and traded on NASDAQ. Dr. Ueno stepped down from the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in March, 2014.
Dr. Ueno is also a founder and Managing Member of S&R Technology Holdings, LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, and a founder and Honorary Chair of S&R Foundation in Washington, D.C. S&R Foundation whose mission is to support talented individuals with great potential and high aspirations in the arts, sciences and social entrepreneurship, especially those who are furthering international cultural collaboration.
The awards and recognitions received by Dr. Ueno over the years include Nikkei BP Publications’ Japan Innovator of the Year Award (2006), the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Greater Washington Area in the Life Sciences Category (2006), and an honorary member of the American Gastroenterological Association (2008). Aside from his scientific achievements, Dr. Ueno is an experienced Class A race car driver. Currently, he is a 1.428571429;”>member of Leica Historical Society of America, Ferrari Club of America, and Miles River Yacht Club.