TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–LUCA Science, a global innovator in the development of a novel class of mitochondria biopharmaceutical agents, today announced the closing of a ¥3.86 billion (USD 30.3 million) oversubscribed Series B financing. The round was co-led by DCI Partners, 4BIO Capital and existing investor Fast Track Initiative and supported by an international syndicate of existing investors including Remiges Ventures and Nippon Venture Capital Co, and new investors including Nissay Capital, Asahi Kasei Pharma, QB Capital/NCB Venture Capital and SMBC Venture Capital.
LUCA Science is pioneering a new class of mitochondrial therapy to restore cellular bioenergetics in dysfunctional or damaged tissues and organs. The funds from this round will be used to accelerate the research and development of the company’s proprietary pipeline toward IND submission. In addition, LUCA Science is rapidly advancing its existing pipeline with a view to target additional therapeutic areas in collaboration with leading academic and industry partners. Proceeds from the financing will also be used to establish a robust manufacturing system based on its proprietary Mitochondrial Isolation Technology (MIT) platform, a novel method for intact, shelf-stable and highly functional isolated mitochondria as a quality-controlled biopharmaceutical agent.
“We have assembled a world-class syndicate of investors both in Japan and internationally, who share our vision of creating a novel class of modality using mitochondria to address a range of unmet medical needs,” said Dr. Rick C. Tsai, Chief Executive Officer of LUCA Science. “This significant financing round will enable further investment in our CMC capabilities and help us accelerate our research and development activities to bring the possibility of mitochondria closer to patients. This marks a key moment for the company and moves us one step closer to our goal of becoming the world leader in mitochondria therapy.”
Following the closing of the financing, Philippe Fauchet of 4BIO Capital, Tai Harada of Fast Track Initiative, and Shuntaro Kodama of DCI Partners will join LUCA Science’s Board of Directors.
Shuntaro Kodama, Managing Director at DCI Partners, said: “We have investigated a new approach to impact the regenerative system in dysfunctional cells which cause various diseases, and are convinced that Luca Science’s mitochondria therapy is the one and fully fits our interest. We are really excited to co-lead this financing round and work with the talented team to unlock the potential of this innovative therapy.”
Tai Harada, Vice President at Fast Track Initiatives, said: “LUCA Science is at the frontier of revolutionary medicine, untangling the complex biology of mitochondria while applying scientific rigor. Fast Track Initiative is proud to continually invest in LUCA Science, this time as a lead investor, and looks forward to ongoing support. We believe LUCA’s mitochondria therapy has significant potential to bring strong benefits to many patients with limited treatment options.”
Kieran Mudryy, Partner at 4BIO Capital, commented: “Representing our first investment in Japan, LUCA Science aligns with our ethos at 4BIO Capital to encourage novel treatment modalities that could become game changers in various indications of high unmet need. We are delighted that our Venture Partner Philippe Fauchet, OBE, will be joining the Board of LUCA Science. Japan continues to present a significant hub of scientific research and development from which cutting edge innovation continues to emerge and we continue to look at multiple opportunities in this exciting market.”
Notes to Editors:
About LUCA Science Inc.
LUCA Science is a preclinical stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering a new class of mitochondrial therapy to restore cellular bioenergetics in dysfunctional or damaged tissues and organs. Mitochondria are the power plants in our cells that produce energy for our bodies. LUCA Science will use its platform technology to manufacture, store and deliver innovative mitochondrial drugs to research and development of therapeutics for unmet medical needs in a wide range of diseases for which there have been no effective treatments.
Name: LUCA Science Inc.
Headquarters: 3-8-3, Nihonbashi Honcho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-0023, Japan
CEO: Rick C. Tsai DMD, MD
Established: December 25th 2018
Business: Research and development of mitochondrial biopharmaceuticals
About Fast Track Initiative
Fast Track Initiative (FTI) is a healthcare-focused venture capital firm that operates in Japan and the US. With its mission of “Capital for Life”, FTI focuses on early-stage investments and new company creations exclusively in the healthcare sector. With the team of professionals in life science and investment and over 18 years of history, FTI serves as a committed value-add investor with deep healthcare knowledge that helps portfolio companies with business and R&D strategy, strategic partnership, investor syndication. FTI has invested and supported in 30+ life science startups across Japan and the US. Visit us at www.fti-jp.com/en/ to learn more.
About DCI Partners
DCI Partners is a leading venture capital firm focused on life sciences. The team has over 20 years’ history of investing in biotech start-ups since the period of NIF Ventures. As of today, DCIP has over ¥ 26 billion under management across its 2 life science funds and has a strong footprint in Japan and Taiwan. DCIP aims at increasing the value of its portfolios by providing hands-on supports utilizing the team’s industrial expertise and global network across academics, biotechs and pharmas. DCIP also plays a key role in acting as a platform to incubate seeds that have great potential and creating new start-ups. For more information, please visit https://www.daiwa-inv.co.jp/dcip/en/
About 4BIO Capital
4BIO Capital (“4BIO”) is an international venture capital firm focused solely on the advanced therapies sector. 4BIO’s objective is to invest in, support, and grow early-stage companies developing treatments in areas of high unmet medical need, with the ultimate goal of ensuring access to these potentially curative therapies for all patients. Specifically, it looks for viable, high-quality opportunities in cell and gene therapy, RNA-based therapy, targeted therapies, and the microbiome. The 4BIO team comprises leading advanced therapy scientists and experienced life science investors who have collectively published over 250 scientific articles in prestigious academic journals including Nature, The Lancet, Cell, and the New England Journal of Medicine. 4BIO has both an unrivalled network within the advanced therapy sector and a unique understanding of the criteria that define a successful investment opportunity in this space. For more information, connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter and visit www.4biocapital.com.
Fast Track Initiative, Inc.
(Tokyo, Japan, CEO & Managing Partner: Hiromichi Kimura)
DCI Partners Co., Ltd.
(Tokyo, Japan, President & CEO: Hiroki Narita)
(London, United Kingdom, Managing Partner: Andrew Kozlov)
Nissay Capital Co., Ltd.
(Tokyo, Japan, President: Kosuke Ueda)
Remiges Ventures, Inc.
(Seattle, USA, Managing Partner: Taro Inaba)
Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation
(Tokyo, Japan, President: Yoshikazu Aoki)
Nippon Venture Capital Co., Ltd.
(Tokyo, Japan, President: Minoru Tagaya)
QB Capital, LLC / NCB Venture Capital Co., Ltd.
(Fukuoka, Japan, Managing Partners: Tsuyoshi Sakamoto and Takashi Hondo) /
(Fukuoka, Japan, Representative Director: Issei Inoue)
SMBC Venture Capital Co., Ltd.
(Tokyo, Japan, President: Akira Ochiai)