Catalys Pacific Launches in Japan to Advance Early-Stage Life Sciences Innovation by Creating and Investing in Global Companies
Tokyo, Japan – 17 June 2019
Catalys Pacific, a new venture capital firm in Japan built by a global team seasoned in life sciences investing, today announces the launch of its first fund. Leveraging its networks in academia, biotech, venture capital and the pharmaceutical industry, Catalys Pacific has assembled a group of Strategic and Preferred Partners with whom to create asset-centric global bioventure companies.
Catalys Pacific begins operations as one of Japanʼs largest life sciences-focused investment firms. The firmʼs mission is to provide solutions to unmet medical needs for patients worldwide by creating and investing in companies that drive innovation in life sciences. Catalys Pacific maintains a strictly independent governance structure that ensures autonomous assessment and decision-making of its investments.
By aligning with Catalys Pacific, its Strategic Partners, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Eisai Co., Ltd., SoftBank Group Corp., Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and Celgene Corporation – have renewed and expanded their commitment to the advancement of assets in partnership with venture-backed companies. Working across oceans, Catalys Pacific seeks to collaborate with its Preferred Partners including Abingworth, Domain Associates, and Frazier Healthcare Partners – all top-tier venture capital firms in life sciences – in the creation of and investment in new companies.
Catalys Pacific is led by BT Slingsby, Takeshi Takahashi, and Bill Watt, all of whom are bilingual, bicultural and bring decades of experience in life sciences investment and R&D. The firm maintains offices in Tokyo and Kanagawa (Shonan Health Innovation Park), Japan and in Seattle, Washington.
Dr. BT Slingsby, Founder and Managing Partner of Catalys Pacific, said:
“We are excited to take this first step to catalyze the creation of companies designed to advance life science innovation for patients worldwide. As one of the few firms focused on company creation and investment in early-stage life sciences in Japan, we look forward to working with our partners and collectively reaping the benefits of entrepreneurship, partnership, and honest science.”
Mr. Tatsuro Kosaka, President & CEO of Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., commented:
“Open innovation approaches to exploit external resources in R&D are essential amid fierce global competition in new drug development. Pharmaceutical companies increasingly partner with venture capital as a source of external capital and talent to advance the development of assets while seeking to reduce risk and enhance their pipelines. I hope that Catalys Pacific will play a leading role in accelerating open innovation in the life science field in Japan.”
Dr. Haruo Naito, Representative Corporate Officer and CEO of Eisai Co., Ltd., said:
“In terms of Neurology and Oncology which Eisai positions as two strategically focused areas as well as Global Health, the discovery of innovative seeds and the support of and collaboration with venture companies with those seeds are very important. We look forward to working with Catalys Pacific for enhancement creating innovation for patients with unmet medical needs throughout the world.”
Mr. Christophe Weber, President and CEO of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, commented on the announcement:
“Catalys Pacificʼs emphasis on partnership and scientific excellence rooted in Japan is exciting, and emblematic of a pivot point in the field. With approximately 200 external partners globally, we certainly realize the value of partnership in R&D, and as an R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, we see first-hand how Japanʼs life science sector will benefit from a more robust ecosystem to advance its notable homegrown innovation in biotech. We are confident that Catalys Pacificʼs strong network of global partners will help it cultivate this ecosystem and deliver life-changing medicines to patients.”
Dr. Robert Hershberg, EVP and Head of Business Development & Global Alliances of Celgene Corporation, said:
“The strong network and trust that the Catalys Pacific team has within academia, biotech, and the pharmaceutical industry in Japan enables them to galvanize open innovation in the region. Their experience combined with a base in Japan as well as independent governance differentiate themselves with other venture capital firms. We are excited to partner with Catalys Pacific to drive forward life sciences innovation with Japan.”
About Catalys Pacific
Catalys Pacific is an independent venture capital firm focusing on early-stage investments in life sciences. Founded in 2019, the firmʼs mission is to focus on providing healthcare solutions for patients worldwide through the creation of and investment in bioventure companies. Catalys Pacific is led by a global team versed in working closely with its partners in academia, biotech, venture capital and the pharmaceutical industry in Japan and worldwide. The firm maintains offices in Tokyo and Kanagawa (Shonan Health Innovation Park), Japan and in Seattle, Washington.
Please see https://catalyspacific.com for more information.
About Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Chugai Pharmaceutical is one of Japanʼs leading research-based pharmaceutical companies with strengths in biotechnology products. Chugai, based in Tokyo, specializes in prescription pharmaceuticals and is listed on the 1st section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. As an important member of the Roche Group, Chugai is actively involved in R&D activities in Japan and abroad. Specifically, Chugai is working to develop innovative products which may satisfy the unmet medical needs, mainly focusing on the oncology area. Additional information is available on the internet at https://www.chugai-pharm.co.jp/english.
About Eisai Co., Ltd.
Eisai Co., Ltd. defines its corporate mission as “giving first thought to patients and their families and to increasing the benefits health care provides,” which we call our human health care (hhc) philosophy. With approximately 10,000 employees working across our global network of R&D facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, we strive to realize our hhc philosophy by delivering innovative products to address unmet medical needs, with a particular focus in our strategic areas of Neurology and Oncology. Furthermore, we invest and participate in several partnership-based initiatives to improve access to medicines in developing and emerging countries. For more information about Eisai Co., Ltd., please visit https://www.eisai.com.
About the SoftBank Group
The SoftBank Group invests in breakthrough technology to improve peopleʼs quality of life around the world. The SoftBank Group is comprised of SoftBank Group Corp. (TOKYO: 9984), a holding company that includes telecommunications, internet services, AI, smart robotics, IoT and clean energy technology providers; Arm Limited, the worldʼs leading semiconductor IP company; and the SoftBank Vision Fund, which is investing up to $100 billion to help extraordinary entrepreneurs transform industries and shape new ones.
About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to bringing Better Health and a Brighter Future to patients by translating science into highly-innovative medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Gastroenterology (GI), Rare Diseases and Neuroscience. We also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines. We are focusing on developing highly innovative medicines that contribute to making a difference in people’s lives by advancing the frontier of new treatment options and leveraging our enhanced collaborative R&D engine and capabilities to create a robust, modality-diverse pipeline. Our employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients and to working with our partners in health care in approximately 80 countries and regions. For more information, visit https://www.takeda.com.
About Celgene Corporation
Celgene Corporation, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through next-generation solutions in protein homeostasis, immuno-oncology, epigenetics, immunology and neuro-inflammation. For more information, please visit https://www.celgene.com. Follow Celgene on Social Media: @Celgene,Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.
Abingworth is an international investment group dedicated to collaborating with life sciences entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into products that have a dramatic impact on health. With over $1 billion under management, Abingworth invests at all stages of development, from start-ups to publicly traded companies, and across all life sciences sectors. Supporting its portfolio companies with a team of 26 at offices in London, Menlo Park, and Boston, Abingworth has invested in 152 life science companies, completed 65 IPOs and 52 mergers and acquisitions. More info can be found at https://www.abingworth.com.
About Domain Associates
Founded in 1985, Domain Associates is among the first and largest venture capital firms to exclusively invest in the life sciences sector. Our mission is creating, investing and building companies that solve challenging medical problems. Mobilizing over $2.8B in raised capital, we have supported promising entrepreneurs, advanced paradigm-changing technology, and provided products that have dramatically improved patient outcomes. To learn more, visit https://www.domainvc.com.
About Frazier Healthcare Partners
Founded in 1991, Frazier Healthcare Partners is a leading provider of growth and venture capital to healthcare companies. With nearly $4.2 billion total capital raised, Frazier has invested in over 170 companies, with investment types ranging from company creation and venture capital to buyouts of profitable lower-middle market companies. The firmʼs Growth Buyout team invests in healthcare and pharmaceutical services, medical products and related sectors. The Life Sciences team invests in therapeutics and related areas that are addressing unmet medical needs through innovation. Frazier has offices in Seattle, WA and Menlo Park, CA, and invests broadly across the US, Canada, and Europe. For more information about Frazier Healthcare Partners, visit the company’s website at https://www.frazierhealthcare.com.
About Shonan Health Innovation Park (Shonan iPark)
The mission of Shonan iPark is to enhance innovation in science. It was conceived when Takeda opened its Shonan research center and invited tenants, creating an inspiring mix of industry, government, and academia, including ventures and start-ups that incorporate various drug discovery tools and methods. iParkʼs goal is to accelerate innovation that enables the creation and materialization of ideas leveraged by cutting-edge technologies and insights in the field of life sciences.
* Strategic Partners are corporate limited partners.
* Names of Strategic and Preferred Partners are listed in alphabetical order by region, respectively.
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