Open Innovation

Taiho Pharmaceutical is also seeking to acquire technologies and development seeds from external partners. Through two corporate venture capital (CVC) organizations, we are actively investing in and supporting venture companies and startups involved in unique research and innovative development technologies. At the same time, we are promoting joint research and development through collaboration with academia (universities and research institutions) that possess advanced expertise, to enhance our internal drug discovery capabilities and accelerate pipeline creation.

Corporate venture capital (CVC): An organizational activity whereby a business company establishes a fund with its own capital to invest in and provide support to venture companies.

Partnership through CVC:
Investing in and Supporting Incubation and Business Growth for Ventures and Startups

In 2016, Taiho Pharmaceutical established Taiho Ventures, LLC in the United States and has been investing in promising biotech ventures around the world that possess innovative technologies and knowledge, mainly in the oncology field. Taiho Ventures not only provides financial support, but also focuses on bringing the investees’ cutting-edge technologies and therapies to the world by leveraging Taiho’s experience in R&D and management.
As a specific achievement of Taiho Ventures, it has contributed to the expansion of Taiho Pharmaceutical’s development pipelines through investments in companies such as Arcus Biosciences, Inc. and Cullinan Pearl, Corp. After entering into an option agreement with Arcus in 2017, Taiho Pharmaceutical has in-licensed three pipeline programs. Also, a clinical candidate that had been spun out to Cullinan Pearl for development in 2019 received breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA in the United States in 2022. In the same year, Taiho Pharmaceutical successfully reacquired the compound through the acquisition of Cullinan Pearl.
In the highly competitive field of drug discovery, access to global, cutting-edge external information contributes greatly to the company’s own R&D. Therefore, the ability to capture a variety of latent information through CVC initiatives and to create opportunities for technological alliances is a significant advantage. It serves to deepen the know-how that Taiho Pharmaceutical has cultivated as a pioneer in oral anticancer drugs and will be a force to accelerate the evolution of our drug-discovery platform technologies.
In 2019, we established Taiho Innovations, LLC in Japan. While Taiho Ventures invests in biotech ventures around the world, mainly those focusing on oncology, Taiho Innovations invests in promising startups in Japan, including those in the medical and consumer healthcare sectors, even those in the pre-startup phase. Additionally, Taiho Innovations also engages in open innovation with external research institutions utilizing research assets owned by Taiho Pharmaceutical.
Taiho Pharmaceutical is actively promoting these bi-directional open innovation initiatives.

Incubation: Supporting the nurturing of entrepreneurs and facilitating the creation of new businesses

This CVC organization, based in California in the United States, invests in biotech ventures around the world, focusing mainly on companies with candidates for cancer treatment drugs.

This CVC organization targets the medical, consumer healthcare, and new healthcare sectors in Japan through collaborations with different industries. It invests with the aim of co-creation from the early stage, including the pre-startup phase.

Aiming to Acquire New Technologies That Complement Taiho’s In-House Drug Discovery Pipeline

Currently, Taiho Pharmaceutical has a diverse pipeline. In-house drug discovery accounts for about 80% of clinical development, making it the unshakable cornerstone of our success. However, further evolution is required to enhance the probability of success of new drug launches in the oncology field. We conduct our drug discovery research on a certain scale to continuously expand our pipeline, but we do not have inexhaustible resources. Insisting on providing all the technologies and information needed for drug discovery on our own does not necessarily lead to a competitive advantage; complementary measures are also necessary. Therefore, we collaborate through our CVC organizations to increase the possibility of delivering valuable drugs to patients.
Our CVC organizations strategically invest in and support ventures and startups worldwide that are involved in R&D on innovative new drugs, with Taiho Pharmaceutical aiming to acquire new technologies. Our Discovery and Preclinical Research Division takes on the challenge of staying totally up to date on early-stage global drug discovery concepts and related technologies. By collaborating, the research team receives such information from our CVC organizations, and the team reviews useful technologies and information on potential partnerships that will benefit our next-generation drug discovery. Currently, we have built our own network through the two CVC organizations mentioned above, and we have access to unique technologies, drug discovery seeds, and research concepts that are not readily available within our internal drug discovery process.
As the global drug discovery landscape undergoes rapid and diverse transformations, the acquisition of new perspectives and ideas for new drug products is an invaluable asset. Through this asset, we hope to expand our next-generation R&D potential by capturing synergies with our in-house drug discovery.

Collaboration with Academia:
Advancing Drug Discovery for Refractory Cancers through Joint Development and Strengthening Research Alligned with Clinical Needs

In recent years, the development of new treatment methods and anticancer drugs in the oncology field has been advancing, extending the survival period of patients with cancer. However, in reality, there is still a need to develop new drugs for refractory cancers. These types of cancers often require challenging treatment regimens with low treatment satisfaction. Taiho Pharmaceutical has been conducting comprehensive joint research on drug discovery targeting refractory cancers in collaboration with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the United States since 2020. Through this joint research, Taiho Pharmaceutical seeks to further strengthen the development of therapeutic drugs useful for refractory cancers by integrating research results with its unique drug-discovery platform technologies. Especially in drug discovery for brain tumors and brain metastases, Taiho Pharmaceutical is moving forward by combining our drug-discovery platforms for identifying brain-penetrable compounds with highly specialized external research platforms. Collaboration with academia allows us to engage in the sharing of advanced and specialized knowledge, and to improve drug discovery technology. Additionally, it helps us in terms of people development, and assists us with aligning our approaches to drug discovery with clinical needs. We will continue to organize cooperative systems with academia in order to further strengthen our partnerships.

In this way, we are consistently committed to contributing to the invaluable “Today and Every Day” for patients by leveraging the drug-discovery platform technologies we have built over years of research. By integrating multiple drug-discovery platform technologies, Taiho Pharmaceutical possesses highly unique drug discovery capabilities. We will maximize these drug discovery capabilities by applying the innovative ideas that emerge from cross-departmental dialogue across our entire research team.