May 23, 2023

Aculys Pharma and Medical Note enter into a partnership to raise awareness on sleep disorders

Goal to build a “sleep ecosystem” to resolve sleep-related social issues in Japan,
which cause an economic loss of approximately 15 trillion yen annually

Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2023 – Aculys Pharma, Inc. (“Aculys”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on commercializing innovative treatments for neurological conditions, and MedicalNote, Inc. (“Medical Note”), a leading online healthcare platform in Japan, announced that the two companies will enter into a partnership for communications activities that support early detection and treatment, proper disease management, and quality of life enhancement in the sleep disorder area.

 ■ Background of partnership between Aculys and Medical Note
Medical Note is one of the largest Japanese medical information platforms, with over 3,100 participating physicians. Since its launch in 2014, it has offered more than 2,800 disease and symptom glossaries and over 6,500 articles featuring interviews with physicians. In coordination with hospitals, academic societies, associations, government bodies, local municipalities, and healthcare companies, the platform has raised awareness for a wide range of diseases—from widespread conditions to intractable and rare diseases.

Aculys views and tackles sleep-related issues as not just an issue for patients with sleep disorders but as a larger social challenge that concerns the general public, and Aculys therefore regards broad promotion of proper knowledge on sleep as its key agenda. A primary symptom of two conditions for which Aculys develops therapies, narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), is excessive daytime sleepiness. As discerning whether excessive daytime sleepiness is caused by a disorder or lack of sleep and other similar factors is challenging, patients tend to remain unaware of their condition and receive proper diagnosing and treatment late, leading to decreased quality of life (QOL) and productivity.

Under the new partnership, Medical Note and Aculys Pharma will work to initiate awareness-raising activities for sleep disorders to communicate to the general public—including patients, their families, schools, and workplaces—proper information that will contribute to early detection. Leveraging Medical Note’s experience as a leading online medical information provider, the two companies will support undiagnosed patients, their families, schools and workplaces by ensuring proper understanding of symptoms and risk factors that are indicative of potential sleep disorders, and also support patients overlooking their conditions by encouraging them to receive medical care and diagnosis at an early stage. Medical Note and Aculys Pharma will also support patients after they start treatment by providing information on proper disease management and the latest specialized treatment options to facilitate QOL improvement.


■ Details of the partnership (as scheduled)
Primary activity:
Develop a special web page on sleep disorders within Medical Note’s website offering information for the general public

Targeted readers:
Undiagnosed patients who may have sleep disorders but are not aware of their conditions, and patients’ parents, teachers, infirmary staff, colleagues, and managers

Information provided: 
Information on how to distinguish between lack of sleep and medical conditions, types of sleep disorders, symptoms, treatment options, self-checks, hospital searches, and points of attention in daily life

Date of launch:
Around September 2023


■ Comprehensive “sleep ecosystem” that Aculys is building to tackle sleep-related social challenges

The sleep ecosystem assists potential patients recognize sleep-related issues by raising awareness on the importance of sleep and helps at-risk patients access medical care by encouraging doctor visits. It also supports patients after starting treatment by monitoring daily symptoms and visualizing sleep patterns—which largely differ according to the individual—to enable optimal personalized and timely care.


■ Social challenges associated with sleep disorders*
The impact of sleep disorders on Japanese society is enormous. Research shows decreased productivity at work and absence of sick leave due to lack of sleep cause an economic loss of about 3% of Japanese GDP, equivalent to about 15 trillion yen1. As Japanese people sleep shorter hours compared to those in other countries due to stress and a lack of proper knowledge on sleep, the Japanese government’s “Second Term of National Health Promotion Movement in the Twenty First Century” initiative addresses sleep as one of its main agendas and calls for further public education2-3.

Further, sleep disorder-related issues have been identified as one of the factors that inhibit proper sleep and wakefulness during the day. Reports indicate that medical care costs increase when proper medical intervention for sleep disorders and related complications (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, depression) delay4-7. Early detection and proper medical care in potential patients suspected of having sleep-related conditions are key in improving patients’ QOL, life prognosis, and productivity, and in mitigating social loss.

* “sleep disorders” refers to sleep-related medical conditions, including insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), and central disorders of hypersomnia (e.g., narcolepsy), collectively.


■ About Medical Note
Medical Note is a company that holds “Closing the gap between Doctors and Patients” as its corporate vision and strives to help develop a society where no people struggle with medical care. In collaboration with medical institutions, academic societies, government bodies, and other companies, it offers diverse services that connect physicians and patients from various angles, including “Medical Note,” a medical/health care platform for patients, “Medical Note Expert,” a medical information search service, “Medical Note Conference,” a medical education support service, and “Medical Note Link,” a platform for community-based coordination among medical institutions. Medical Note strives to make medical care more approachable and to enable all people to select optimal options by integrating in-person and digital services so that not only the government, physicians, and other healthcare providers but also the general public can help support and continuously develop medical care.

Company name: MedicalNote, Inc.
Location: Stadium Place Aoyama 5th floor, 2-9-5 Kita-Aoyama Minato-ku, Tokyo
President: Yuma Umeda
Representative Director: Sho Inoue
Founded: October 2014


■ About Aculys Pharma
Aculys is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the commercialization of neurology innovations for patients in Japan. Aculys was formed in 2021 to catalyze innovative treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders. We are committed to shortening the drug lag in Japan by developing and commercializing novel CNS treatments; applying blockchain and AI technologies to increase speed to market; and providing services to improve medical care for patients, their families, healthcare professionals, and society.

Company name: Aculys Pharma, Inc.
Location: The ARGYLE Aoyama, 2-14-4 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Tsunaba Kazunari
Establishment date: January 2021


  1. Hafner M et al. Why Sleep Matters-The Economic Costs of Insufficient Sleep. Cambridge, UK: RAND Europe; 2016
  2. OECD (2009), Society at a Glance 2009: OECD Social Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris.
  3. 2019 National Health and Nutrition Survey Report (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare) .
  4. Lyons MM, et al. Global burden of sleep-disordered breathing and its implications. Respirology 2020 Jul;25(7):690-702.
  5. Skaer TL, Sclar DA. Economic implications of sleep disorders. Pharmacoeconomics 2010;28(11):1015–23.
  6. Leger D, Bayon V, Laaban JP, et al. Impact of sleep apnea on economics. Sleep Med Rev 2012;16: 455–62.
  7. Flores NM, Villa KF, Black J, Chervin RD, Witt EA. The humanistic and economic burden of narcolepsy. J Clin Sleep

The information on pharmaceuticals contained in this release is for the purpose of disclosing our management information and is not intended to be a promotion or advertisement of such pharmaceuticals.