Photographic portrait of Yoko Nagai

Yoko Nagai

EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ Asia-Pacific Class of 2021

Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Varinos Inc., Japan

Yoko Nagai is the Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Varinos Inc., a biotechnology company that rapidly develops and commercializes clinical tests based on genome technology to solve issues revolving around infertility and declining birthrate.

The company’s unique strategy of using the endometrial microbiome test dramatically increased the success rate of pregnancy. Yoko considers pregnancy and child care to be a top priority and has devoted her knowledge and experience in the field of advanced reproductive health.

After earning her PhD in developmental genetics, Yoko entered the world of bioinformatics programming, building a database of disease-related genes with the aim of applying scientific knowledge to medicine.

Yoko started working at Illumina to contribute to the launch of genomic medicine business in Japan, but was shocked to find that many innovative services had been launched around the world. In order to launch genomic testing from Japan, she launched Varinos, Inc. with his former colleague, Yoshiyuki Sakuraba, in 2017.

Yoko holds a PhD in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences from Tokyo University, and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and Tokai University School of Medicine. Prior to launching Varinos Inc., she worked as a sequencing specialist at Illumina KK.

Yoko was named one of the 10 Young and Inspiring Businesswomen to Watch in 2020 by CIO Look. The company was certified “Made in Shinagawa” brand, was awarded the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award at Japan Venture Award 2020 and was the EXPO winner at Plug and Play Japan Fall Summit 2020.

Our goal is to rapidly develop and commercialize clinical tests based on genome technology to create a society in which people can make optimal treatment choices on the basis of their own genome information.
Yoko Nagai