MIJ Launches a New Biotech Fund in Partnership with Nippon Shinyaku and Torii Pharmaceutical. Promoting the discovery and nurturing of innovative start-ups in the field of bioscience in Japan and overseas, focusing on the UK.2020.07.01

Medical Incubator Japan K.K. (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative: Jun Katsura) (hereinafter referred to as “MIJ”), an independent venture capital investment company specializing in healthcare, has launched a new biotech fund aimed at investing in innovative start-ups in the field of bioscience in Japan and overseas, focusing on the UK. The fund starts operations, with Nippon Shinyaku Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Minami-ku, Kyoto; Representative: Shigenobu Maekawa) and Torii Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; Representative: Goichi Matsuda) deciding to invest up to one billion yen each.

This fund comprises two funds—“MIJ Biotech-Global Investment Limited Partnership”, a Cayman fund aimed mainly at investing in start-ups in the UK, Israel, and other oversea countries where remarkable ecosystems growth is occurring in the field of life science; and MIJ Biotech-Japan Investment Limited Partnership, a Japanese fund aimed mainly at investing in start-ups in Japan—with MIJ managing the find as GP (General Partner). By investing in this new fund, Nippon Shinyaku Co., Ltd. and Torii Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. are accelerating open innovation aimed at generating new innovative pharmaceuticals businesses that meet global and as-yet un-met needs.

In the field of life science, the UK and Israel have grown to become the two of the world’s top start-up bases after the United States, launching numerous start-up companies. The UK is tackling a broad diversity of innovations ranging from drug discovery including the latest modalities to digital health utilizing AI and data science, producing globally active start-ups one after the other. Utilizing its engineering strengths, Israel is achieving growth centered on fields such as medical devices and digital health. In both countries, nurturing life sciences markets and constructing powerful ecosystems to achieve this have been positioned as national strategies, and start-up companies are nurtured through close cooperation among industry, academia, and government. The UK in particular is home to some of the world’s top universities—University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of London, etc.—and enormous ecosystems incorporating each of these universities at the hub are being constructed.

Through our local partners in the UK and Israel, MIJ has been carrying out network-building with ecosystems in both countries. We are constructing a system enabling us to provide continuous services ranging from gathering information about the start-up markets in both countries to searching for seeds and contacting/negotiating with candidate investment companies. Utilizing this network to the maximum, MIJ intends to not only invest in promising local start-up companies, but also assist with their entry into Japanese markets. In concrete terms, beginning with creating opportunities for considering the establishment of tie-up agreements with Nippon Shinyaku Co., Ltd. and Torii Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., the new fund’s LPs (limited partners), MIJ will provide support in various services for accelerating start-up companies’ commercialization in Japanese markets—marketability evaluations, developing regulatory strategies, promoting clinical trials, etc.—through our tie-up partner companies and introductions to experts.

This new fund is expected to attract further investment. Based on current and additional future funding, MIJ aims to enhance the fund’s portfolio early on, maximizing the fund’s value.