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About Us

Acucela is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that specializes in discovering and developing novel therapeutics to treat and slow the progression of sight-threatening ophthalmic diseases impacting millions of individuals worldwide.

According to visiongain (Ophthalmic Drugs: World Market Prospects - 2013-2023; October 2013), the worldwide ophthalmic market was $17.5 billion in 2011 and is expected to grow to $34.7 billion by 2023, representing a 5.9% compounded annual growth rate.

Our business model has three strategically important foundational components that we expect will drive the Company’s growth in the large, underserved ophthalmic disease market:

  • Strong and differentiated science: A franchise opportunity in Visual Cycle Modulation (VCM), with one compound currently in a Phase 2b/3 trial and several other VCM compounds under development;
  • Robust research and development infrastructure: Demonstrated capabilities in ophthalmic research and clinical development; and
  • Long-standing strategic partnerships: Partnered programs with Otsuka Pharmaceutical, a global diversified healthcare company based in Japan.


Innovative ophthalmology company focused on developing therapies to treat sight-threatening diseases


  • To address unmet medical needs in sight-threatening diseases through scientific innovations
  • To build a unique company with continuous value creation for society
  • To create an excellent working environment and quality of life for employees

Acucela has made innovation and doing things differently core to who we are and what we do:

  • They said people don’t start biotech companies in their basement.  We did. 
  • They said we couldn’t come up with an investigational candidate in less than two years.  We did.
  • They said that human visual cycle could not be modulated with pharmacologic intervention.  We did.
  • Biotech companies rarely survive beyond 10 years.  We are.
  • No US-based company achieved primary status on the prestigious Mothers Board of the Tokyo Stock exchange.  We did.