Advertisement EY mid banner
Advertisement: EBCam mid banner
Advertisement: Wild Knight Vodka
Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
Advertisement: Mogrify
Advertisement: China mid banner
Mid banner advertisement: BDO
Advertisement: Cambridge Network
Advertisement: Simpsons Creative
25 July, 2019 - 19:06 By Kate Sweeney

Optibrium secures new contracts in China and Japan

A Cambridge-based pharmaceutical software company has won two new contracts in China and Japan after hosting launch events in those countries with support from the Department for International Trade.

Optibrium creates software that helps pharmaceutical companies in the early stages of drug discovery. 

Its unique technology is used to help pharmaceutical companies quickly identify high-quality candidate drugs, reducing time and cost, while increasing the chance of success in clinical trials.

Following increased demand for its technology from countries in East Asia, DIT helped to cover Optibrium’s travel costs to visit the region and offered advice and guidance on East Asian business culture which differs significantly from the UK.

International Trade Advisers at DIT introduced Optibrium to contacts at the British Consulate in Shanghai and the British Embassy in Tokyo, where it held launch events to build its profile in the region and develop relationships with local industry leaders. 

Optibrium secured contracts in the two countries as a result, including one with a major Japanese chemical company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Optibrium employs 22 people at its head office in Cambridge and works with customers in more than 25 countries including the United States and Russia. The business is currently experiencing 20 per cent year-on-year annual turnover growth, with more than 80 per cent of revenue coming from international sales. Optibrium has also forecast its turnover will accelerate rapidly over the next five years.

Nick Foster, head of commercial operations at Optibrium, said: “The East Asian pharmaceutical market is rapidly changing and there is growing demand for advanced technology like ours. 

“This is partly because of major reforms to regulations including the China Food and Drug Aministration (CFDA) and also because of increased funding for drug discovery. Both of these factors have helped to drive greater innovation in the industry.

“Working with DIT helped us to tap into this demand. We were able to get advice from ITAs that specialise in the pharmaceutical sector and in Chinese and Japanese business culture, meaning that we felt confident working in those markets.

“The Tokyo and Shanghai launches represented a real turning point, and we expect these relationships will continue to lead to new business. We think every business should consider the international opportunities out there – if we can succeed internationally, others can too.”

Thinley Topden, head of region for DIT East of England, said: “The UK, particularly in and around Cambridge, is a world leader in pharmaceuticals and drug design software. 

“Optibrium is an expert in drug discovery and wanted to expand its work in East Asia, so it’s fantastic to see the business now working with two new companies as a result of the launch events.”

• Companies looking for export support can call 01707 398 398 or email eastinfo [at] They can also visit, which has information on live export opportunities and includes general information on exporting and events.

Newsletter Subscription

Stay informed of the latest news and features