Our team excels in transpacific entrepreneurship and venture for healthcare innovation.
Investors & Specialists
BT Slingsby MD, PhD, MPH
Founder & Managing Director
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 MBA
Takeshi Takahashi is a Managing Director with Catalys Pacific. He 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 currently serves as Venture Partner with Catalys Pacific. He brings 35 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical/biotech and drug delivery industries with his extensive corporate leadership and multiple product successes. 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.
Jon is an Operating Partner with Catalys Pacific and CEO of Mineralys Therapeutics Inc., a Catalys Pacific portfolio company. Jon brings 35 years of pharmaceutical experience including roles as CEO of both private and public companies. He has worked in cardiovascular, GI and CNS companies with a focus on providing solutions for patients and their caregivers. He has launched several life changing therapies such as Copaxone and Azilect.
Prior to his current position, he was CEO of Impel NeuroPharma, a private biotech company focused on CNS disorders through novel upper nasal cavity delivery. Previously, he served as CEO at Nivalis Therapeutics which he took public in 2015 and was focused on treatments for cystic fibrosis. Jon held multiple roles of ascending responsibility at Teva Pharmaceuticals. He was part of the original team responsible for the launch of Copaxone for multiple sclerosis in the United States ultimately leading the U.S. neuroscience business and global CNS franchise.
Mr. Congleton attend Kansas State University, where he graduated with a B.S. in marketing and a minor in microbiology.
Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
IkigaiThrough our work in biotech, we extend and improve people’s lives. There are few things more noble or needed now and in the future.
Neal Fowler MBA
Neal is an Operating Partner with Catalys Pacific. He has extensive experience in biotech/biopharma including roles as CEO of both private and public companies.
Neal previously served as CEO of Liquidia Technologies (NASDAQ), transforming the company from an early-stage research platform into a publicly traded biomedicines company. While at Liquidia, Neal also co-founded and served as CEO of Envisia Therapeutics (acquired), an ophthalmology therapeutics company. Prior to Liquidia, Neal worked for seven years with Johnson and Johnson, serving as President of Centocor, Inc., a global multi-billion dollar subsidiary focused on biomedicines, and President of Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, a company focused on neurological disorders.
Neal started his career with Eli Lilly and Company, working for thirteen years in a variety of sales, marketing and business development roles in both the pharmaceutical and medical device divisions.
Neal is the current chair of both NCBIO and the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Foundation. He earned his BS degree in Pharmacy and MBA, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. ROBERT F. KENNEDY
IkigaiFor me, it’s all about daring to take the shot as a company and as a teammate. While I can never guarantee it will be the winning shot, I can guarantee you will miss 100% of the shots you never take.
Kazunari Tsunaba MBA
Kaz is an Operating Partner with Catalys Pacific. He brings over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry with extensive corporate leadership and multiple product successes as an intrapreneur.
From 2017 to 2020, he served as President of Novartis Pharma Japan and a member of the Global Pharma Executive Committee, transforming Novartis Pharma Japan into a leading company with the excellence in integrity and innovation. During his tenure at Novartis, he led the launch of seven new products in Japan including products in cell and gene therapies. Most recently he served as Executive Advisor with the company.
Prior to Novartis, he served as General Manager for Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong as well as Global Franchise Head for Bone, Muscle, and Joint and Country Head of Diabetes | Growth Hormone Business Unit at Eli Lilly Japan.
He graduated from the University of Tokyo with a B.A. in Economics, and holds an M.B.A. from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. – Laozi
IkigaiI am on an endless leadership journey to help others to accomplish their personal will to contribute to society.
Ashwin Ram MD
Ashwin is a Partner with Catalys Pacific, a physician-scientist, and a biotechnology entrepreneur. He serves as Chief Business officer of Kirilys Therapeutics, Co-Founder and SVP Operations at Pathalys Pharma, and Founder of Axelys, Inc. He previously served as Founder and Chair of Jupiter Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to this, he was a part of Genentech’s Early Clinical Development — Oncology team and practiced as a board-certified radiation oncologist.
Ashwin completed his MD at the University of Michigan Medical School with highest honors and Dean’s distinction in research. After training in radiation oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, he completed an MS in bioengineering at Caltech and a postdoc at Stanford University as an NCI Cancer Translational Nanotechnology fellow.
He who lives in the present lives in eternity. Ludwig Wittgenstein
IkigaiI believe that when we are connected to the present moment we gain a sense of clarity that brings balance, joy, and success into our lives.
Ayaharu is a Director with Catalys Pacific. Prior to Catalys Pacific, he worked for the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund where he engaged in business operations including human resources, IT, accounting, office administration, legal affairs, and compliance, and played a significant role in building the organization during its start-up period including pulling in ZVC JAPAN Co., Ltd. (Zoom) into the partnership.
Prior to joining GHIT Fund, he worked in accounting and management at Sharp Corporation, where he was involved in operations such as accounting, internal audit, accounting audit correspondence, and business guidance and training of sales bases.
Ayaharu graduated from Senshu University with a B.A. in Commerce.
“I think the things you regret most in life are the things you didn’t do.” Steve Jobs
IkigaiExperience enriches life.
Hiromi Miwa PhD
Hiromi is Senior Analyst with Catalys Pacific. He is an integral member of our due diligence team and focuses on the assessment of science including preclinical and clinical data, and market forecasts. Previous to Catalys Pacific, he conducted interdisciplinary translational research for clinical applications in academia.
After graduating from Keio University, Hiromi worked at the University of Tokyo as a research assistant then earned his Ph.D. from the University of California Los Angeles.
First principle: never to let one's self be beaten down by persons or by events. Marie Curie
IkigaiScientific progress always faces its challenges, but true innovators overcome these. Behind each remarkable achievement is a group of innovators that overcame. Our credo is to contribute to the backbone of life sciences innovation, supporting outstanding scientists who shall not to be beaten down by the inevitable challenges along the way.
Yuki is a Vice Preswident with Catalys Pacific. Prior to Catalys Pacific, she worked for the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs where she engaged in financing and M&A. In addition, she holds experience in the sports industry where she was involved in the establishment of a new sports club and its internet media business as well as business operations and company management.
Yuki graduated from Keio University with a B.A. in Political Science, Faculty of Law.
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. Charles Darwin
IkigaiChange is inevitable. I want to embrace change with a positive attitude, fearless. I strive to be someone who can enjoy change as an opportunity for positive transformation.
Maki is a Senior Associate with Catalys Pacific. She brings legal expertise and holds experience in pharmaceutical business development. Prior to Catalys Pacific, she worked for Sato Pharmaceutical where she engaged in the licensing of healthcare products from pharmaceutical companies where she often worked on licensing contract negotiation and closing as well as alliance management.
Maki graduated from Keio University with a B.A. in law.
I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. – Jimmy Dean
IkigaiSometimes the world throws at you the unexpected, but this is okay. Just change yourself; it only takes one person. What is important is to reach that destination you long for.
Ryan currently serves as 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
Nobuo Hanai PhD
Nobuo currently serves as 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 PhD
Jonathan currently serves as 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.
Norihiko is an 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