Dr. Sachiko Kuno studied biochemistry and biochemical engineering as one of a few Japanese female scientists. She obtained her Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from Kyoto University, Japan and has conducted post-doctoral research at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. In the mid-80s, Dr. Kuno joined her partner, Dr. Ryuji Ueno, and established R-Tech Ueno Ltd. in Japan to commercialize prostones, a class of functional fatty acids whose therapeutic potential was first identified by Dr. Ueno. Leading teams of talented scientists, Drs. Ueno and Kuno unlocked the therapeutic potential of prostones, leading to more than 650 international patents and successful launch of Rescula® eye drops, the first bioactive lipid ever used to treat glaucoma, in Japan.
Leveraging R-Tech’s success in Japan, Dr. Kuno and Dr. Ueno moved to Bethesda MD and established the Sucampo Group, an affiliation of companies in the Americas, Asia and Europe. Since then, she served Sucampo Group as a founding CEO, chair of the board or advisor until 2012. Sucampo received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Drs’ second product AMITIZA® (lubiprostone) for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation in adults,irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and opioid-induced constipation in adults with chronic non-cancer pain in 2006, 2008 and 2013 respectively and also received regulatory approval in Switzerland, United Kingdom and Japan. Currently, Sucampo and R-Tech Ueno are listed and traded on NASDAQ and Tokyo Jasdaq respectively.
Dr. Kuno is also a founder and Managing Member of S&R Technology Holdings, LLC, a Bethesda, Maryland based holding company founded in 1999. Additionally, in 2000, Dr. Kuno, together with Dr. Ueno, founded S&R Foundation in Washington, D.C. for the purposes of supporting talented individuals with high aspiration and great potential in science, art and social entrepreneurs, especially those who are furthering the international cultural collaboration.
She has received a number of awards over the years, some of which include the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Greater Washington Area in the Life Sciences Category (2007) and recognition as one of the 25 “Women Who Mean Business” by The Washington Business Journal (2009).
Dr. Kuno currently serves as a visiting Professor of Graduate School of Keio University, a board member of National Cherry Blossom Foundation, and an advisory board member of THIS for Diplomats at Meridian International Center. She has completed certificate coursework in international business management at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.