Takeda Research Investment: Reaching Beyond the Land of the Rising Sun




Episode Loading...




PharmaTelevision requires Javascript enabled and Adobe Flash Player to watch our programmes. If you do not have Flash installed, you can download it for free from the Adobe Flash homepage.

Improve your Internet experience and start watching exciting new video content.

Video title: Takeda Research Investment: Reaching Beyond the Land of the Rising Sun
Released on: May 01, 2008. © PharmaVentures Ltd
Share/save this page:
Email
Bookmark
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Follow us:
RSS
Twitter
  • Summary
  • Transcript
  • Participants
  • Company
This insightful conversation features Graeme Martin, CEO of Takeda Research Investment (TRI) the corporate venture arm of Takeda Pharmaceutical, the largest pharma company in Japan and among the largest in the world. Dr. Martin shares TRI’s plans to invest US$100 million seed money in a variety of early-stage innovative ventures, to help expand Takeda’s research horizons outside Japan. With a plan to invest in 4-5 new efforts a year, TRI hopes to eventually manage a steady state investment of about 20 companies that will include both minority investments and active, collaborative partnerships designed to create synergies with Takeda’s considerable R&D resources.
The purpose of setting up Takeda Research Investment.
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision, the world's first pharmaceutical on demand television channel. We are here in Madrid recording a series of interviews with some of the leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies who are presenting here at Bio Europe. We hope you enjoy these shows. Hello and welcome to PharmaVentures business review here in Madrid. On this show I have Graeme Martin, who is President and CEO of Takeda Research Investment. Welcome to the show.
Graeme Martin:
Thank you.
Fintan Walton:
Graeme Martin, Takeda Research Investment is based in Palo Alto as I said it's part of Takeda the famous Japanese multinational pharmaceutical company, what is the purpose of Takeda Research Investment?
Graeme Martin:
Takeda set up Takeda Research Investment 2001 and so it's been running for just a little over seven-years now. And the purpose was to help Japan's research centre expand it's horizons outside Japan specifically in North America and in Europe. So we were looking as eyes and ears for research division to bring in innovation into, into the research group.
Fintan Walton:
And why are you actually based in Palo Alto, does that mean you are just focused purely in California are you looking outside of California as well?
Graeme Martin:
No of course the West Coast and then particularly the Bay Area is pretty intense biotech hub, but really it's about communications, we thought that the West Coast of USA would keep us well in touch with colleagues back in Osaka and Tokyo as well as give us access to the other geographic areas that we want to touch.
Takeda Research Investment's investment strategies.
Fintan Walton:
Now the companies that you invest in clearly you co and co-invest with other funds, other VC groups, do you ever invest on your own?
Graeme Martin:
Yes. Actually we, we've a mixture of investments currently in the portfolio in some cases we've invested very early and in those companies usually start up ventures we have been essentially seed investors helping that company to get to a value inflection point or to a proof of principle with its technology. And in those cases we would invest on our own. In more mature companies that may already have a syndicated investor base then very often will coming to an early stage financing as co-investors.
Fintan Walton:
So how does that work? Does do you normally are the ones who find the opportunity and then ask others to come in or others already in there and they are saying let's see if Takeda Research Investment are interested?
Graeme Martin:
It's again it's a mixture of both of those. We have found that our interests have tended to be a little earlier stage than typical venture capital interests historically and therefore in those cases we have usually invested alone. But I think that trend is changing a little bit in the venture capital community, so that they are becoming increasing interested in the spaces where we've looked and in those cases we now have a nice network of venture capital colleagues who we also sometimes work with as a co-investment.
Fintan Walton:
So, what is the purpose, I mean clearly, one of the things that you can get is a return on your investment, is it that or you are more of a strategic investor?
Graeme Martin:
No, we are purely strategic, so clearly if we do our job well as strategic investors we expect to get financial returns, but the purpose of the investment is purely strategic.
Fintan Walton:
That's to allow Takedato get access ultimately to the research and technology that's developing within that corporation?
Graeme Martin:
Correct. Yes. We view it as a way of helping the company get competitive advantage in the future through access to innovative technologies now.
Fintan Walton:
And does that mean that in the end you are going to acquire the company in fact have you ever acquired a company as a result of investing in?
Graeme Martin:
That could certainly be one final outcome of our investments, the returns we are looking for are ideally shorter-term that could be a collaboration or licensing event , but there has been a single instant where we have suggested an investment in the company that led to the acquisition of that company. That company is now Takeda San Diego.
Fintan Walton:
What was the company before that?
Graeme Martin:
It was called Syrrx [PharmaDeals ID = 19261] and it was high throughput structural biology company.
Investments in Canada, Europe and the focus on core therapeutic areas.
Fintan Walton:
Right. Now when it comes to I was looking at the portfolio of investments you've had or you've already done in your existing portfolio it's clear that you have not just only invested in USA, you've invested in Canada and Europe. So within your own organization based in Palo Alto, how do you connect to those other, other companies in other countries, how do you do that?
Graeme Martin:
Usually it's through a mouth-to-mouth network that we would form with usually again venture capital community there are many state run incubators and government run business development agencies and we've worked with all of those within the US as well as, as you said Canada and in Europe and they have been extremely proactive actually at suggesting potential opportunities to us and we've capitalized on that.
Fintan Walton:
Are, do the investments reflect Takeda own research interest? I mean if you go through Takeda, Takeda website and look at their interests in various therapeutic areas are your investments reflective over there?
Graeme Martin:
Very much so. Takeda has a priority focus in some core therapeutic areas that we actually mirror in our investments.
Measurement of success.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. So the other key thing of course is that in the end how do you measure your success? what is the measure of success for a Takeda Research Investment?
Graeme Martin:
Actually it's a really it's a very good question, because the answer is a tough one. I think the simplest answer is in terms of strategic return if we can connect the company to an innovation through investment in a start up company that ends up being an important part of the discovery activities back in Japan, and then we would rate that as a very successful investment.
Fintan Walton:
And in the end if one of your investment companies, your investee companies was acquired itself by another major multinational, would that be considered a you know a bad thing from your point of view or a good thing?
Graeme Martin:
Well bad thing if we haven't managed to leverage up a strategic return before that acquisition. But eventually our interest is always is of at the interest of the company as we've done, so we recognize that acquisition of companies we've invested into is bound to happen.
Fintan Walton:
Sure.
Graeme Martin:
It's an aggressive environment for pharmaceutical and biotech companies. And in fact this has just happened for us. The acquisition of one of our portfolio companies by another multinational pharma has just happened.
Fintan Walton:
Well, which one is that?
Graeme Martin:
This is Serenex [PharmaDeals ID = 29798]
Fintan Walton:
Okay.
Graeme Martin:
Based in North Carolina.
Fund and investments in 2008.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. Very interesting. So in the end are you how big is your fund? how many more investments are you going to do this year in 2008?
Graeme Martin:
So the fund is US$100 million at least this is the capital that was committed by Graeme Martin,President and Chief Executive Officer Takeda Research Investment to strategic investments. We actually investment off balance sheet, so we don't manage that fund per say [ph]. And we've set ourselves a goal annually of four new strategic investments as well as supporting with follow-on investments the existing portfolio.
Fintan Walton:
Clearly.
Graeme Martin:
So we are aiming to get to a steady state portfolio of about 20 companies.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. Well Graeme Martin, thank you very much indeed for coming on the show, really enjoyed it. Thank you.
Graeme Martin:
It's my pleasure.
Graeme Martin
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr Graeme Martin is President and CEO of TRI with day-to-day responsibility for operations. He brings more than 28 years of pharmaceutical R&D experience, primarily in multinational Pharmas (Wellcome; Glaxo Wellcome: Hoffman La Roche). He was responsible for the discovery and preclinical development of Zomig, marketed worldwide for the acute treatment of migraine. More recently, Dr. Graeme Martin served as Chief Technical Officer at Telik Inc.with responsibility for technology and business development before establishing a Bay Area biopharmaceutical consulting operation, Discovery-Insight. Dr. Graeme Martin received his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacology from the University of Bath, and his doctorate from University College, London, UK.
Takeda Research Investment
Takeda Research Investment, Inc. (TRI) is the corporate venture arm of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TPC) a world-class pharmaceutical company and the largest in Japan. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Takeda America Holdings, Inc, TRI started operations in 2002. Their aim is to encourage and support therapeutic innovation in biopharmaceutical companies and academic centre's of excellence, through early stage capital investment and provision of access to the resources of a multinational pharmaceutical company.