Our team excels in transpacific entrepreneurship and venture for healthcare innovation.
Investors & Specialists
BT Slingsby M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Founder & Managing Partner
The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. Dante Alighieri
IkigaiFor me, how we personally and individually confront conflict, particularly those of ethics, defines who we are – a distinct line between reaction by fear and action by character.
Takeshi Takahashi M.B.A.
Takeshi Takahashi holds extensive experience in M&As, IPOs, and financing in the healthcare sector. Prior to Catalys Pacific, he worked for the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley for 12 years and played a significant role in over 30 distinguished transactions including, but not limited to, Japanese companies’ acquisitions of U.S. listed companies with an enterprise value of over US$10.0 billion, acquisitions of global healthcare companies with an enterprise value of over US$5.0 billion, and a number of alternative financing transactions. Prior to working for Morgan Stanley, Takeshi was an analyst and a portfolio manager for global and Japan fixed income and managed a $3.0+ billion portfolio in Japan and the U.S. at Merrill Lynch’s asset management division.
Takeshi graduated from Waseda University with a degree in Political Science and Economics, and holds an M.B.A. from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Proficiently bilingual and bicultural.
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Thomas A. Edison
IkigaiThe greatest failures lie in giving up while the greatest victories are attained only by insistent effort - a constant reminder to stand up and try one more time.
Jay brings 35 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical/biotech and drug delivery industries with his extensive corporate leadership and multiple product successes to his role as Operating Partner. In addition to working for Catalys Pacific, he currently serves as Chairman of The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and is on the board of directors of Esperion Therapeutics, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, and Craig Hospital, a world-renowned center for specialty rehabilitation and research for people with spinal cord injury and brain injury.
Prior to his current positions, he joined Versartis as President and CEO in May 2015. In 2018 when Versartis merged with Aravive, he became CEO of the newly formed company until January of 2020 when he retired. He was an Executive Partner at Sofinnova Ventures until May 2015. Previously, he served as President and CEO of NextWave Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer), Ilypsa (acquired by Amgen), and interim CEO of Relypsa (Ilypsa’s spin-out company, which was acquired by Galencia). He has participated in or led over 16 product launches by preparing markets and establishing sales and marketing operations, having served as Vice President of Commercial Operations at Telik and Alza Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Johnson & Johnson).
He holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of Arizona.
“It takes a village…” an African proverb
IkigaiA simple quote to emphasize that we all need like-minded individuals working together to reach our goals.
Hito (Hidehito) Kotani Ph.D.
Hito is an expert in regional development of global products for Japan and Asia, bringing over 20 years of experience in basic and clinical R&D, regulatory science, and strategy / business development / sales & marketing in Japan and Asia at multiple global pharma including Pfizer and Merck. From 2015 through 2019, Hito worked as President, CEO and CTO of PHC Holdings Corporation (formerly known as Panasonic Healthcare Holdings Co., Ltd.). Prior to PHC, from 1998 to 2015, he served as Chair of global clinical development, led the groups of functional genomics and bioinformatics, and served as global head of oncology at MSD K.K. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.). Thereafter, he served as Executive Vice President where he was responsible for regional strategy and business development & licensing at MSD K.K. From 1994 to 1998, he was a research fellow at Pfizer Central Research in Connecticut.
Trained at Whitehead Institute at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received his Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine & Genetics at Thomas Jefferson University.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
IkigaiThere are still many unmet medical needs for patients in Japan, Asia, and the rest of the world. Together, we must be the ones to deliver bright futures for patients, as Goethe stated.
Tadataka Yamada M.D.
Tachi is an Industry Advisor with Catalys Pacific and a Venture Partner with Frazier Healthcare Partners. Prior to joining Frazier he was Executive Vice-President, Chief Medical & Scientific Officer and a Board Member of Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Tachi has served as President of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program, Chairman, Research and Development and a Member of the Board of Directors of GlaxoSmithKline and Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at the University of Michigan Medical Center.
Tachi holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and obtained his M.D. from New York University School of Medicine. In recognition of his contributions to medicine and science he has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine (U.S.), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Medical Sciences (U.K.) and the National Academy of Medicine (Mexico). He has received an honorary appointment as Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (K.B.E.) and been conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Stars from the Government of Japan.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. African Proverb
IkigaiA constant reminder that one must always rely on good partners to address big challenges.
Nobuo Hanai Ph.D.
Nobuo currently serves as Industry Advisor with Catalys Pacific. Prior to joining Catalys, he was Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer at Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd. (previously known as Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd.) from 2012 to 2018. Thereafter, he served as Representative Director, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 2018 and as Director and Chairman in 2019.
As CEO of Kyowa Kirin, he led the development and launch of numerous innovative drugs including mogamulizumab (Potelligent™) and benralizumab (Fasenra™). Nobuo also successfully realized multiple partnerships with Japanese and global pharmaceutical companies along with several M&A transactions of biotech companies outside Japan.
After joining Kyowa Hakko Kogyo in 1976, he led R&D activities of its antibodies. In 2003, he founded BioWa, Inc. in the US in order to license technology related to antibodies, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer and managed the company. After the inauguration of Kyowa Hakko Kirin, he led the development of various innovative compounds as a global head of R&D.
He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tokyo and a doctorate degree from Yamaguchi University.
Let the withering wither and, in its place, let the blossoming bloom. Dr. Benzaburo Kato, Founder of Kyowa Hakko Kogyo
IkigaiDr. Benzaburo Kato led Kyowa Hakko with this style of leadership during the 1960s. One must fully dispose of past practices in order to leave room for the creation and growth of new opportunities.
Jonathan MacQuitty Ph.D.
Jonathan currently serves as Industry Advisor with Catalys Pacific, Venture Partner with Lightspeed Venture Partners, and CEO of D2G Oncology, an oncology biotech start-up recently spun out of Stanford University.
Prior to his current positions, Jonathan served as CEO of Forty Seven, an immuno-oncology company that completed a $113 million IPO in 2018, from its inception until 2017. From 1999 to 2014, he was a Partner at Abingworth Management. Between 1988 until its acquisition 10 years later, he was founding CEO of GenPharm International. He began his career as a business development executive at Genencor and Genentech.
Other board directorships have included Acorda (now NASDAQ), Dicerna (now NASDAQ), Guava (acquired), Labcyte (acquired), Myelos (acquired), Orca, ParAllele BioScience (acquired), Personalis, Quantum Dot (acquired), SFJ Pharma, Sosei (listed in Tokyo), and Sunesis (listed on NASDAQ). He has also served on the Board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).
Jonathan holds an M.A. in Chemistry from Oxford University, a Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of Sussex, and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.
There’s no substitute for hard work. Thomas Edison
IkigaiThe assumption that insight alone is sufficient in any endeavor is wrong. The amount of work Einstein did after he had his insight about relativity vastly exceeded the work before.
Ryan currently serves as Industry Advisor with Catalys Pacific and is Founder and Managing Director of Questa Capital, a healthcare-focused venture capital and growth equity investment firm. From 1996 through 2015, Ryan was a partner at New Enterprise Associates, where he served as a general partner, Head of Healthcare Investing and a member of the NEA Management Committee.
Prior to NEA, he worked in the corporate finance group at Alex. Brown & Sons and was a consultant at Arthur Andersen & Co. He represents Questa on the board of directors of Cortica, Dispatch Health, Eximis Surgical, Intrinsic Therapeutics, and Medrio. He has previously served on the boards of more than 30 private companies including Epix Therapeutics, Cartiva, NeoTract, Radiology Partners, DSI Renal, Ulthera, Acclarent, Proxima Therapeutics and FoxHollow.
Ryan also serves on the board of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and is a four-time nominee to the Forbes Midas List of top venture capital investors. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Stanford University.
The first person you should be careful not to fool is yourself. Because you are the easiest person to fool! Richard Feynman
IkigaiFeynman's quote is a useful reminder that in VC investing it is easy to fall in love with a technology or become too personally invested in a company. As with Feynman in physics, self-delusion is significant risk in VC investing that requires constant vigilance
Norihiko is an Industry Advisor with Catalys Pacific and brings with him global investment expertise in multiple sectors including, but not limited to, venture companies and cross-border M&As. Norihiko currently serves as CEO and President of VLC Holdings Co., Ltd. and also manages Sun Investment LLC, an investment and advisory firm for international businesses and deals initiated by Japanese companies. He is a founder and shareholder of Forbes in Japan. Norihiko is also co-founder of Miyako Capital, a venture capital firm affiliated with Kyoto University.
Previously, Norihiko worked at Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Division Financial Institutions Group where he engaged in M&A advisory, financing, and principal investments, as well as in global fixed income and currency team in Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He graduated from Keio University with a B.A. in law.
Travel, like dreams, is a door that opens from the real world into a world that is yet to be discovered. Guy de Maupassant