CEO Kevin Lustig at Scientist.com’s Solana Beach office. The company operates an Amazon-like platform for outsourcing drug development.

CEO Kevin Lustig at Scientist.com’s Solana Beach office. The company operates an Amazon-like platform for outsourcing drug development. Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle.

Scientist.com — which runs an online marketplace to outsource scientific services — will open an office in Tokyo, Japan.

The San Diego-based company recently experienced growth in its Japanese clientele, which includes several large pharmaceuticals. Scientist.com links pharmaceuticals to contract research organizations, or CROs, that carved out drug development niches.

Along with its local headquarters, Scientist.com also has offices in the U.K. and Boston. The company has more than 70 employees.

The office announcement came during a three-day trade mission led by World Trade Center San Diego and San Diego Congressman Scott Peters.

“In today’s economy, companies – even startups and small business - must look and think globally, which helps grow revenue and create jobs back home,” Nikia Clarke, executive director of WTC San Diego, said in a news release. “Scientist.com’s expansion is another example of a local business that is connecting San Diego to a market that matters to our global economy.”

Scientist.com is among 20 San Diego companies that were awarded a $10,000 grant as part of WTC San Diego’s MetroConnect program, which is designed to bolster exports.

In a San Diego Business Journal article this summer, Scientist.com CEO Kevin Lustig reflected on how the company reached a formula for success after years of trials and tribulations.

“We had two near-death experiences where we ran out of money. Three major financial model pivots. We’ve been left at the altar a week before Christmas for our first giant deal that we worked for a year on,” said Lustig in the article.

The company reported $50.27 million in 2017 revenue, up from $23.07 million in 2016 and $6 million in 2015.

Scientist.com’s Japan office will be located at the Nihonbashi Life Sciences building, housing international offices of UC San Diego and major life sciences companies.

“WTC San Diego’s trade mission will help Scientist.com continue its rapid expansion into the Asian-Pacific region,” said Dan Kagan, Scientist.com’s chief operating officer.