DIA Welcomes Shogo Nakamori
New SVP and Managing Director, DIA Japan and Korea
A portrait photograph headshot of new Senior Vice President and Managing Director (DIA Japan and Korea) Shogo Nakamori grinning in a dark navy blue business suit and tie
Shogo Nakamori, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, DIA Japan and Korea

n January 2023, DIA announced the appointment of Shogo Nakamori as Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DIA Japan and Korea.

Shogo is a pharmacist who has worked in the pharmaceutical and CRO industries for more than 25 years. His career began with drug development work at Ciba-Geigy followed by Novartis, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, and Mundipharma. He subsequently managed Acronet and Parexel as president of both CROs. Shogo most recently directed the development of cellular medicine under the Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings umbrella. While at Parexel, Shogo represented the CRO industry on a special advisory committee sponsored by the government to promote clinical trials in Japan. Shogo has also served on the Regional Advisory Council for DIA Japan for four years.

Global Forum is pleased to welcome and introduce Shogo with this brief “get to know you” Q&A.

DIA: What attracted you to DIA and to the role of senior vice president and managing director, DIA Japan?

Shogo Nakamori: I have worked in drug development in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 25 years and have been managing a company in the CRO industry for 10 years. During this time, I participated in DIA as a member of the Regional Advisory Council for Japan for four years, which gave me enough time to fully understand the philosophy and policies of DIA. The role of facilitating discussions among industry, government, academia, and patients while maintaining neutrality is unique to DIA, and I had hoped to become involved in the organization sooner or later. I have been asked by the DIA to serve as its representative for Japan and Korea, and considering my background in corporate management, it is an invitation that I am well prepared for and enthusiastically accept.

DIA: What elements of your experience prepared you for, and what strengths do you bring to, this executive position?

Shogo: It is important for leaders of organizations to quickly assess their current situation based on data and recognize the gaps between the current and the ideal state. I have been in this environment as a manager for many years, and I take this same approach to DIA as an organization. I also have a good understanding of the services that DIA provides to our customers and constituents and can always be mindful of their satisfaction.

DIA: DIA has been a major convener of important conversations on crucial topics. What topics are of most urgent importance to clinical research, to therapeutic product development, and (of course) to patients in Japan?

Shogo: We recognize that Japan’s drug development is at the highest level in the world. This level of quality development, coupled with the National Health Insurance system, eliminates most problems with patient access to medicines in Japan. However, there are not enough drugs for rare diseases in Japan, as is the case worldwide. It is not an easy task, considering the economics of drug development, but I think it is necessary to establish an equitable development solution and support a healthcare framework that society can accept. I am not sure if this is possible, but DIA would certainly like to support these discussions.

DIA: Do you have a hobby outside of work that helps you be a better person or leader?

Shogo: I have been playing rugby since my school days, and my position is flanker. It looks like a “barbaric” sport, but there are many parts of the game that are not possible without discipline. Self-sacrifice is also an important element. No one flamboyantly poses or tries to call attention to themselves after scoring a try. Winning points with the whole team is also an important part of everyday work, and this is where my leadership style comes from.

DIA: What message would you like to share with DIA’s global family in Japan?

Shogo: I think Japan has been slow to recover from the pandemic. There are some differences in national character, but we are cautious in everything. History will prove whether this is a good thing or not. But delays in healthcare can cost Japanese lives, and if we do not follow global trends there is a possibility that Japan will be left behind. For compounding reasons, there is an impression that Japan’s priority in new drug development is declining compared to the past. For patients with rare diseases and cancer, clinical trials are one of their treatment options, so if this impression is true, it is a serious situation. As a result, we must act boldly when and where we need to act.