Scohia Pharma to spin out of Takeda with $87m

Innovation Network Corporation of Japan has joined forces with Takeda Pharmaceutical and Medipal Holdings to set up Scohia Pharma with an initial investment of $87m.

Public-private partnership Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) yesterday partnered healthcare companies Takeda Pharmaceutical and Medipal Holdings to launch Japan-based biotech firm Scohia Pharma.

The three partners are set to inject a combined ¥10bn ($87m) in Scohia, which has been spun out of Takeda’s Shonan Research Center and is set to formally begin operation on April 1.

Scohia will license eight research and development projects from Takeda, ranging from discovery and preclinical to phase 2 stages and covering renal, metabolic and cardiovascular conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

Several unnamed researchers from Takeda with expertise in Scohia’s three targeted areas will provide their expertise to the spinout.

Yoichi Okumura, general manager for intellectual property at Takeda, has been appointed as chief executive of Scohia Pharma.

Okumura said: “Scohia Pharma will allow world-class scientists to realise their full potential, and the creative forces that will be generated as a result will ensure that suffering patients will have access to new treatment options.

“Scohia Pharma will show a new business model to the Japanese business industry how large domestic pharmaceutical companies successfully spin off a venture company.”

Mikihide Katsumata, president and chief operating officer at INCJ, said “When US and European pharmaceutical companies execute an essential strategic shift, spinout biotech ventures are formed on a constant basis, which consequently provides greater flexibility in corporate resources including product development, drug discovery and human resources.

“Scohia Pharma will be born as a remarkably large-scale biotech venture with proven development pipelines, and I anticipate that its success will contribute not only to the delivery of new therapeutic medications but also to the establishment of an entire new ecosystem in the Japanese pharmaceutical industry and biotech field.”

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