Acucela Appoints Robert “Bob” J. Stevens to its Board of Directors

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Acucela Inc. (“Acucela”), a clinical-stage ophthalmology company and
wholly-owned subsidiary of Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd.
(Tokyo 4596), announced today that it has appointed Robert “Bob” J.
Stevens to its Board of Directors.

“Bob’s 33 years of experience in the ophthalmology field will bring
valuable perspectives to the Board and provide Acucela with a strong
background in product research and design. His extensive work as a head
of business development as well as R&D is very impressive and we are
very fortunate to have Bob as our Board of Directors, as we continue to
grow and evolve, addressing unmet needs for patients with eye disease,”
stated Ryo Kubota, MD, PhD, and Chairman, President and CEO of Acucela.

Mr. Stevens stated, “I am looking forward to working with the other
Board members, in helping Dr. Kubota realize his vision. I believe my
background and experience complement that of the other Board members.”

About Robert “Bob” J. Stevens

Mr. Stevens is currently Chief Technology Officer at CorneaGen, based in
Seattle, WA, specialized in cornea care through medical devices and
biologics. Previously, he worked at Novartis/Alcon Laboratories for
nearly 35 years. During his tenure, he spent more than 20 years leading
all research and design for surgical products in the field of
ophthalmology. The technology he helped bring to market significantly
impacted the practice of medicine and positioned Alcon as the leading
company in manufacturing of ophthalmic surgical products. Mr. Stevens
introduced several industry-leading innovations, including a proprietary
intraocular lens material, AcrySof, along with proprietary intraocular
lens designs, Viscoelastics and surgical instruments for both anterior
and posterior segment surgery.

Mr. Stevens’ experience in eye banking dates back to 1991 when he
received the Thoth Award for his role in developing a plan to support
U.S. eye banks during a crisis involving cornea preservative storage
media. The storage media used by 80 percent of the market was recalled
due to bacterial contamination, but the plan Mr. Stevens developed with
partners prevented a shut down of the corneal transplant business in the
U.S. Mr. Stevens has served on the University of Washington Eye
Institute Community Action Board. He earned his bachelor’s degree in
medical technology and his master’s degree in clinical microbiology from
the University of Washington.

About Acucela Inc.

Acucela Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kubota Pharmaceutical
Holdings Co., Ltd. (Tokyo 4596) committed to translating innovation into
a diverse portfolio of drugs and devices to preserve and restore vision
for millions of people worldwide. Acucela’s development pipeline include
drug candidates for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, diabetic
macular edema, Stargardt disease, age-related macular degeneration,
cataracts and presbyopia, and, optogenetics-based gene therapy for the
treatment of retinitis pigmentosa. The company is also developing a
handheld OCT device for the monitoring of neovascular retinal diseases,
to be used directly by patients. http://www.acucela.com;
http://www.kubotaholdings.co.jp/en/

Cautionary Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release are forward-looking
statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of
1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements
contained in this press release that are not statements of historical
fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. These
forward-looking statements include statements regarding our expectations
related to our development plans and ability to successfully develop and
commercialize our product candidates and the potential efficacy, future
development plans and commercial potential of our product candidates.
These statements are based on current assumptions that involve risks,
uncertainties and other factors that could cause the actual results,
events or developments to differ materially from those expressed or
implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and
uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, include, but are
not limited to: our investigational product candidates may not
demonstrate the expected safety and efficacy; our pre-clinical
development efforts may not yield additional product candidates; any of
our or our collaborators’ product candidates may fail in development,
may not receive required regulatory approvals, or may be delayed to a
point where they are not commercially viable; our clinical trials could
be delayed; new developments in the intensely competitive ophthalmic
pharmaceutical market may require changes in our clinical trial plans or
limit the potential benefits of our investigational product candidates;
the impact of expanded product development and clinical activities on
operating expenses; adverse conditions in the general domestic and
global economic markets; as well as the other risks identified in our
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These
forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and we
assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, and
readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such
forward-looking statements. For a detailed discussion of the foregoing
risks and other risk factors, please refer to our filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available on Kubota
Pharmaceutical Holdings (Acucela’s parent company) investor relations
website (http://www.kubotaholdings.co.jp/en/ir/)
and on the SEC’s website (http://www.sec.gov).

“Acucela”, the Acucela logo and “Kubota” are registered trademarks or
trademarks of Acucela Inc. or Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings in various
jurisdictions.

Contacts

Media and Investor Relations Contact:
Hiroki Maekawa
Chief
Financial Officer
Phone: +81-3-6550-8928
Email: [email protected]

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