Our team excels in transpacific entrepreneurship and venture for healthcare innovation.
BT Slingsby M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Founder & Managing Partner
BT Slingsby founded Catalys Pacific to transform life-sciences innovation in Japan using transpacific bioventure. He specializes in healthcare investments in the pharma sector including novel therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines. Prior to Catalys Pacific, he founded the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund – the world’s first public-private fund focused on the development of new medicines for low- and middle-income countries. In his role as CEO and Executive Director at the GHIT Fund, he deployed over 100 investments and grew the fund to $350M in capital. Previously, BT was global head of access strategy at Eisai Co., Ltd. where he led market access strategy for global products and managed a portfolio of anti-infective clinical programs.
BT graduated from Brown University with honors, earned his M.P.H. and Ph.D. from Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo, and received his M.D. with honors from the George Washington University. He has authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles on medicine and public health and currently lectures at the Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University.
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 enterpise value of over US$5.0 billion, and a number of altnerative 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.
William Watt Ph.D.
Bill Watt brings a track record of founding and building innovative life sciences companies in the US and Asia backed by 15 years of high-impact biomedical research and multilingual/multi-cultural entrepeneurship. Prior to Catalys Pacific, he founded the clinical-stage cancer vaccine company EpiThany Co., Ltd. and developed its leading candidate from preclinical through Phase I clinical studies. Before EpiThany, he established the Japan-based entity and operations of iPierian Co., Ltd, a U.S.-based regenerative medicine company that was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb for US$725 million in total, and played a pivotal role at GNI Group, a Japanese spinout biotech company currently with a market cap of roughly US$400 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Bill graduated from Bowdoin College and received his Ph.D. in in Pharmacology from the University of Washington. He has held research positions at the UNC Chapel Hill’s Cystic Fibrosis Center, The University of Washington’s Depts. of Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Bioengineering, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He worked in the labs of Drs. Richard Boucher, Ken Harden, Daniel Storm, Linda Buck, and Richard Palmiter, publishing more than a dozen peer-reviewed manuscripts, reviews and book chapters. Proficiently bilingual and bicultural.
There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. Ernest Hemingway
IkigaiI find that challenging myself to grow and improve is far more liberating than calibrating to someone else. No one's limits should be defined by any other.
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.
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
IkigaiInvestment and entrepreneurship are expeditions -- travel filled with challenges, failures and joy -- that ultimately open new worlds.
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
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