beautiful location

Purpose

Making the world a place where all people live in well-being through the power of molecular information and technology.

Every day we live. We support people to cherish their bodies as irreplaceable assets by understanding the state of their bodies as molecular information, both in good health and in bad health. By understanding life as life information, we provide advanced services to individuals that go beyond conventional medicine and healthcare to realize a world of abundant and fulfilling wellbeing.

Our Story

COGNANO was established for the purpose of designing "alpaca antibody" in the past. However, as there is already a "monoclonal antibody" with a 50-year history, there is no reason to adopt an alpaca antibody unless it has an advantage. What is the advantage? The motive for establishing the company was simple.

  1. there is no other substance in the biological world (i.e., the universe) that exhibits molecular interaction (binding force) with as much specificity as antibodies. The only hyper-variable region in the genome that can change, which organisms should inherit (inherit) unchanged, is the antibody gene, and the antibody (acquired immunity) is a miraculous biological system that was created to counter foreign enemies.
  2. In this sense, "monoclonal antibodies" are biomaterials with tremendous potential, and have been indispensable materials for medical testing and drug discovery for 50 years.
  3. However, monoclonal antibodies are complex structures consisting of light and heavy chains, and they cannot be easily converted into information. Currently, only "useful antibodies" obtained by chance are commercialized.
  4. If antibodies that can be converted into information exist, they will become the best bio-recognition tool.
  5. it must bring a new world view. I wonder if such a wonderful system exists

Alpaca antibodies consist only of heavy chains, and the encoding genes can be decoded by a next-generation sequencer (NGS). Alpaca antibodies had been discovered by chance by Belgian researchers in 1989 as a special small antibody. It is obvious that immunizing (vaccinating) an organism with only antibodies that protect it can give us an almost infinite variety of data. If we as researchers were serious about handling data, we needed to ensure the quantity and quality of information, and for this purpose, live animals showing immune responses were essential. There are artificial methods to modify antibodies and peptides in vitro, but the only way to increase connectivity is to make a trade-off at the expense of the diversity that nature produces.

As of 2022, there are only about 1,000 heavy chain antibodies (VHH) registered in public databases. COGNANO, on the other hand, has developed a technique to accumulate quantity (number of clones and sequence certainty) while ensuring quality (affinity and specificity) of VHH data, and has successfully generated hundreds of millions of antigen-tagged reads (database to be released by the IT team in 2023). This fact indicates that teams other than ours have either given up on big data acquisition of VHH antibodies due to cost issues, etc., or it is technically difficult to execute. Or the existence of channels through which antibody diversity can be used has not been brought to awareness (because it is too obvious). Not many people get a huff when they see an apple fall from a tree.

So, what can we actually do with alpaca antibody VHH data? What exactly do we mean by "a view of the world to come?" Let me try to imagine it mathematically here

  1. since humans have about 100,000 different proteins, the number of sites (epitopes) as antigens recognized by antibodies would be on the order of the seventh power of 10, even if the number of sites (epitopes) is a hundredfold
  2. To cover 10 to the 7th power, it would be sufficient to credit about 10 to the 9th power of 10 types of antibodies as antigen and tagging information, taking into account the redundancy of about 10 to 100 antibodies that accept fluctuations (in the quantum theory sense).
  3. On the other hand, the theoretical number of possible combinations of about 50 variable site sequences in a VHH antibody is 50 to the power of 20 natural amino acids, or about 10 to the 70th power. This information coverage power seems overwhelming. However, it is not known whether the antibody gene is able to select all the possibilities equally, or whether there are any limiting rules.
  4. In this situation, what types of antibodies can COGNANO obtain data on?

The people in charge of GoogleMap must have thought about how much storage space would be needed to retrieve all the maps of the earth as photographic data, and what kind of program would be needed to recall them on demand. We did too, and we know that COGNANO's library reaches the 8th power of 10 and can scale to about the 9th power of 10 clones. This was the beginning of the business of making biotechnology into mathematics, much as John Hanke in the 20th century aimed to make maps of the world instantly visible.

COGNANO continues to accumulate VHH data with the goal of creating a world where generalized antibody information becomes a map of the biospace.

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Photo by ANIRUDH on Unsplash

Our Mindsets

Mission, Vision, and Values defined from our mindsets.

Mission

Higher, more, well-being from molecular information.

We want to understand our own body better than anyone else in order to live with fullness of mind and body. By accumulating and feeding back daily bio-information, we aim to create a world in which each individual can care for themselves and their lives.

Vision

The power of biodata and computer science continues to unravel molecular information.

The human body is composed of 40 trillion cells that are highly hierarchically organized, and it is not easy to grasp the entire picture. We accumulate data at the molecular level on a daily basis to build up a comprehensive view of all life phenomena from the perspective of computational science.

Values

Crossing borders and fusion.

When you cross the boundaries between biotechnology and IT and fuse them together, you get a new view of the world.

Proud of our data and technology.

Data comes from nature. Technology is human effort and wisdom. Both are treasures.

Respect technology and life.

Respect for what man and nature have created.

Perseverance in action.

The journey to a bio-data-driven world is far, and we will persevere without fear.

Fulfill our responsibility to give back to society.

Our highest goal is a society where people can live happily.

Our Team

We are a team of professionals in a variety of fields. We are united towards a common goal and collaborate with each other on a daily basis.

Akihiro Imura, M.D., Ph.D.

Akihiro Imura, M.D., Ph.D.

President, CEO, Co-founder

Graduated from Kyoto University School of Medicine in 1988, ...

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Ryosuke Matsumoto, Ph.D.

Ryosuke Matsumoto, Ph.D.

Director, CTO

Ph.D. Informatics from Kyoto University, Chief Researcher at...

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Yasuko Imura

Yasuko Imura

CFO, Co-founder

Graduated from Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences i...

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Ryota Maeda

Ryota Maeda

Development Manager

I was born in the year Dr. Hassabis and Professor Harari wer...

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Hiroyuki Yamazaki, M.D., Ph.D.

Hiroyuki Yamazaki, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinician, Data Scientist

Hiroyuki Yamazaki graduated from the University of Yamanashi...

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Hirofumi Tsuruta

Hirofumi Tsuruta

Principal Researcher & Machine Learning Tech Lead

Hirofumi Tsuruta is a principal researcher and machine learn...

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Soichiro Noda

Soichiro Noda

Product Manager, Software Engineer

Soichiro Noda is a Product Manager and Software Developer at...

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Ryotaro Tamura

Ryotaro Tamura

ML Ops Engineer

Ryotaro Tamura works at COGNANO, where he is involved in bui...

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Yoshihito Tsuji, M.D., Ph.D.

Yoshihito Tsuji, M.D., Ph.D.

Marketing Manager

Graduated from Kyoto University School of Medicine in 1998. ...

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Shigehisa Hirose, Ph.D.

Shigehisa Hirose, Ph.D.

Senior Advisor

1975, Ph.D, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 1985—2013, Profes...

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Tomohisa Oda

Tomohisa Oda

Software Engineer

Tomohisa Oda started his career as a user interface designer...

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Our Advisors

We are fortunate to work with some of the best advisors.

Ryusuke Honjo

Ryusuke Honjo

CEO, Green Core, Ltd.

Satoshi Morikawa

Satoshi Morikawa

CEO, Yamato scientific group holdings Inc.

Company Overview

Corporation name
COGNANO, Inc.
President and Representative Director
Akihiro Imura, MD., Ph.D.
Headquarter
#101, 64 Higashiyama, Kamitakano, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 6011255, JAPAN
America office
COGNANOUS, Inc.
Spaces Davis Square 240 Elm Street, 2nd Floor, Somerville, MA, 02144
Founded
Oct.17th, 2014
Capitalization
39 million yen
Scope of Business
VHH antibody designing and manufacturing, computer-assisted drug discovery
Collaboration
Osaka University, Kyoto University, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Tokyo Denki University, Kyoto University Hospital