News & Events


Agreement brings complementary capabilities in clinical, regulatory and scientific affairs for clients in key markets 

PharmaLex extends reach to Japan, East Asia and Southeast Asia with Ascent Development Services merger

Frankfurt, Germany – 8 January 2022: PharmaLex Group, a leading provider of specialized services for the pharma, biotech and medtech industries worldwide, has announced a merger agreement with Ascent Development Services, a Japan-based leader in enabling the integration of Asia into global pharmaceutical product development.

Founded in 2017, Ascent’s team of experts work with emerging biopharma companies to understand and overcome differences in medical practice, culture and language in order to achieve the optimal strategic and operational integration of Asia into global drug development.  Headquartered in Tokyo, Ascent employs staff across Asia, including China, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam and provides a balance of country-specific  knowledge mixed with strategic advice from a global perspective.  

The Ascent merger offers access to an attractive client portfolio and adds substantially to PharmaLex’s global footprint, not only in the Japanese market but in other key markets throughout East and Southeast Asia. With deep roots in Asia, Ascent can act as a true partner in the region and, through the merger with PharmaLex, can leverage full service capabilities both locally and globally for emerging biopharma companies to fully pursue globally integrated pharmaceutical product development including Asia.  

“The merger with PharmaLex provides our existing and future clients with access to a robust set of comprehensive and integrated product development capabilities across the US, EU and Asia,” said John Winebarger, CEO of Ascent. ”With our strong cultural fit and highly aligned strategy, Ascent will continue to provide its unique Japan/ Asian oriented services while leveraging PharmaLex’s complementary services in the US and EU in order to provide support of truly global drug development planning and implementation.” 

“We are thrilled to welcome the Ascent team to the PharmaLex Group, and the opportunity to add scale and depth to our developing consulting and scientific affairs services across clinical and regulatory in markets throughout East and Southeast Asia,” said PharmaLex CEO Dr. Thomas Dobmeyer. “The merger enables us to continue our goal of providing integrated product development support to customers worldwide, and to serve emerging biopharma companies by integrating East and Southeast Asia into global clinical development programs.”

March 2022

Meeting Highlights: DIA Cutting Edge Series AI/Digital Symposium 2021 in Japan

Rational Medicine and Digital Technology in Japan:

Connecting the Silos

Ascent’s Vice President, Kazuhiro Kanmuri, has written an article about innovation, optimization, or connectivity and how they can create both opportunities and barriers in delivering rational medicine to patients. Click here to read more.






Partnering Events

Ascent is participating in the following partnering forums:

October 2021

DIA 2021:

Ascent’s Vice President receives award at the 18th DIA Japan Annual Meeting

DIA Japan Inspire Award Winners

Dr. Kazuhiro Kanmuri, PhD receives Excellence in Service Award at the 18th DIA Japan Annual Meeting, with the theme: “New Challenges, New Solutions”.



“Dr Kanmuri, PhD in Regulatory Science field, has about 25 years of extensive clinical development expertise covering various indications for cardiovascular, metabolic and renal diseases, in addition to various rare disease applications including oncology area, regenerative medicine and vaccine products. He is now serving as Vice President, Clinical Development in Ascent Development Services to provide pan-Asian clinical development services. He is also serving as a talent development consultant at his own firm, Inter-Professional. He has been serving as program committee chair for DIA sutting edge series AI/Digital Technoloigy Symposium since 2019. He also served as vice program committee chairperson for DIA Japan Annual meeting in 2018.”

April 2021

AI / Digital Technology Symposium in Drug Development

DIA Cutting Edge Series #1

Chaired by Ascent’s VP, Kazuhiro Kanmuri, PhD, the program committee of DIA’s Cutting Edge Webinar Series is holding an AI-digital symposium this April 21, 2021 entitled “Seeking the Golden Rule in the Age of Innovation: Creating a Quest Map for Digital Technology and Healthcare Industry Innovation”.

For more details about the program, click here.

March 2021

Japan Healthcare 2035:

Ascent’s VP talks about the future of Japan’s healthcare system

“Japan has been facing an unprecedented situation with fewer children and our aging society. The Japan policy of Healthcare 2035 actually focuses on this problem.”

Ascent’s VP of Clinical Development, Kazuhiro Kanmuri, PhD, was invited to talk about the challenges that Japan is facing in its healthcare system. To listen and learn more about his podcast, click here.