J-Pharma Raises 600 Million JPY from JIC Venture Growth Investments (VGI)

July 30, 2021
J-Pharma Co., Ltd.

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Yokohama, Japan, July 30, 2021 – J-Pharma Co., Ltd. (“J-Pharma”) has announced that they have successfully raised 600 million JPY from Japan Investment Corporation (JIC) Venture Growth Investments (VGI) in the Series D round. J-Pharma raised a total amount of 3.346 billion JPY.
Since its establishment in 2005, J-Pharma, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical with a special focus on Solute Carrier (SLC) transporters, has been conducting an array of unique drug developments led by Hitoshi Endou MD., Ph.D., formerly a professor of Kyorin University Faculty of Medicine. Recently, J-Pharma has placed the highest priority on the clinical development of its original inhibitors (JPH203 and OKY-034) of L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1/SLC7A5) for the treatment of advanced cancer patients who are refractory or intolerant to standard chemotherapy.
J-Pharma is endeavoring to conduct a pivotal registry clinical study of JPH203 to treat refractory advanced biliary tract cancer (BTC) in Japan. J-Pharma is also developing OKY-034 to treat refractory advanced pancreatic cancer and LAT1 inhibitors to treat autoimmune diseases. J-Pharma will continue to focus on the research and development of its proprietary, innovative medicines in areas with high unmet medical needs in collaboration with leading research institutions worldwide and prove the clinical usefulness of these medicines through strictly controlled clinical studies.

About JPH203
JPH203 is J-Pharma’s original small molecule that competitively inhibits the amino acid binding pocket of LAT1 by expressing on the cell membrane when a cell needs huge amounts of energy due to rapid proliferation and/or activation. JPH203 is the first LAT1-targeted compound undergoing clinical studies and will become the first-in-class medicine when approved by competent authorities. J-Pharma confirmed its tolerability and preliminary efficacy in advanced solid cancer patients through a Phase 1 study. They also discovered a biomarker capable of distinguishing a patient sub-population that will have fewer adverse events and be more susceptible to JPH203. Using this biomarker as a companion diagnostic, JPH203 is now undergoing a Phase 2 clinical study to treat advanced biliary tract cancer patients who are refractory or intolerant to standard chemotherapy.

About OKY-034
OKY-034 is a novel small molecule allosterically binding LAT1 and holding the amino acid uptake movements of LAT1. J-Pharma executed a worldwide, exclusive license (with sublicense) agreement with Osaka University and KNC Laboratories Co., Ltd., both of which possess the composition patent for OKY-034. At Osaka University, a physician-sponsored Phase 1/2a clinical study of OKY-034 is underway to treat advanced, unresectable pancreatic cancer patients who are refractory or intolerant to standard chemotherapy.

About JIC Venture Growth Investments (VGI)
JIC Venture Growth Investments (VGI) helps to improve Japan’s international competitiveness by promoting innovation that helps solve social and industrial issues in Japan. JIC VIG accomplishes this mission in the following five ways; 1) strengthening industrial competitiveness by providing sufficient risk-money to growth stage startup companies based on Japan’s industrial policy and through collaborations with the private sector; 2) accelerating innovation and helping to solve industrial and social issues by supporting and seeking innovative technologies and new businesses; 3) promoting an open-innovation framework which transcends existing industrial models and aims to apply innovation toward social good and ultimately leading to the development of an indigenous innovation ecosystem in Japan; 4) maximizing return on investments through value-up activities, such as deal sourcing that utilizes the networks and catalytic functions of the government-backed fund, providing hands-on support, and collaboration across industries; and 5) by accomplishing the above, we can seek out and nurture diverse human resources and further contribute to the establishment of a broad and diversified foundation for providing risk-money in Japan.

Contact: Tomohiro Yuzawa, Director,
Corporate Management Dept.
Tel: 045-506-1155