Japanese researchers Masashi Yanagisawa and Kazunori Kataoka have been named in a British research company's list of individuals with Nobel Prize class achievements ahead of upcoming announcements of laureates of the prestigious award in Sweden.
Clarivate Plc said Tuesday that the 23 individuals from institutions in five countries were selected based on the number of citations of their scientific papers. It said that since 2002, 71 of its past laureates have successfully gone on to receive Nobel Prizes.
Yanagisawa, 63, director of the International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine at the University of Tsukuba, was picked in the physiology or medicine category for his discovery of orexin, a substance involved in the sleep and wake cycle.
He helped to promote the development of a treatment of insomnia and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder that makes people suddenly drowsy in the daytime.
Kataoka, 72, director general at the Innovation Center of NanoMedicine at Kawasaki Institute of Industrial Promotion, was picked in the chemistry category for his development of supramolecular material for targeted drug and gene delivery. The method has helped develop treatment for cancer and other diseases.
The 23 are authors of papers cited 2,000 times or more, which is "a truly rare accolade that should be celebrated," said Emmanuel Thiveaud, senior vice president at Clarivate.
This year's Nobel laureates will be announced starting Oct. 2 with the prize for physiology or medicine. The prize for chemistry is scheduled for Oct. 4.