JapanBridge, Inc. Signs Alliance with Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co.,

Ltd.; Closes $6.5 Million Series A-2 Preferred Financing 
Core Management Team in Place 
TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--September 22, 2007
JapanBridge, Inc. ("JapanBridge"), a specialty pharmaceutical
company with operations in Tokyo founded in 2006 by MPM Capital and
Itochu Corporation ("Itochu"), announced today that it has entered
into a strategic alliance with Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co., Ltd. ("Kyowa
Hakko") (TOKYO:4151), a major Japanese pharmaceutical company, to
collaborate on the commercialization of oncology and oncology
supportive care assets in Japan. 
Separately, JapanBridge announced the completion of a $6.5 million
Series A-2 preferred financing provided by MPM Capital, Itochu, and
Kyowa Hakko. The company was founded in 2006 by Dr. Bard Geesaman,
Venture Partner at MPM Capital, John McDonald, Venture Partner at MPM
Capital, and Koji Shinozaki, Innovative Technology Business
Development Office, Itochu, with seed capital from MPM Capital and
Itochu. The A-2 funds will be used to build the business
infrastructure in Japan and identify 2-4 oncology drugs for licensing
into Japan. JapanBridge intends to complete the clinical development
of these programs and later commercialize or co-commercialize these
The company also announced the formation of its core management
team, led by Steven E. Engen, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Engen was
formerly President of Mundipharma K.K., a company which he established
and built to an operation of 70 staff in Tokyo and Osaka. He has over
9 years experience working in the Japanese pharmaceutical environment.
In addition, Yoshihiro Arai has joined JapanBridge as Executive Vice
President of Development, with responsibility for all clinical and
regulatory aspects of JapanBridge. Mr. Arai spent 14 years at Amgen
K.K. where he held numerous senior level clinical development
"Primarily because of the lack of available capital, the
successful specialty pharma model of the U.S. and Europe has not
evolved to respond to the changing regulatory and commercial
environment in Japan. Through strong relationships with MPM Capital,
Itochu, Kyowa Hakko and other venture capital investors, JapanBridge
will be strategically positioned to take advantage of these changes.
Our team is uniquely qualified to work with Western biotech companies
to secure approvals for drugs that might not otherwise be brought to
the Japanese market," noted Steven Engen, JapanBridge CEO. 
"Historically, the approval of important new therapies in Japan
has lagged the U.S. and Europe by 5-10 years. Due to the recent
changes in Japan's regulatory environment, JapanBridge expects to
successfully expedite and introduce breakthrough oncology drugs in
Japan thereby improving outcomes for Japanese cancer patients." 
Kyowa Hakko has committed to assist JapanBridge in performing due
diligence on oncology assets and support the clinical and regulatory
strategy guidance. For each oncology asset in-licensed by JapanBridge,
Kyowa Hakko has an option to co-fund, co-develop and co-commercialize
the asset. 
Hiroo Inoue, Managing Executive Officer of Itochu, stated,
"JapanBridge represents a unique opportunity. JapanBridge can leverage
MPM Capital's experience building bioventures, while at the same time
using Kyowa Hakko's support to better understand the local regulatory,
development and commercial environment in Japan. In addition, Itochu
will be able to provide support to JapanBridge through its own
infrastructure, including contract research organization (CRO) and
contract sales organization (CSO) services. JapanBridge represents the
first bioventure of its kind in Japan. Itochu is excited to be part of
such an organization." 
JapanBridge will initially source late-stage assets from MPM
Capital's extensive network in the Western biotech and global
pharmaceutical communities. Dr. Ansbert Gadicke, General Partner of
MPM Capital and Chairman of JapanBridge stated, "In addition to new
drugs, supportive cancer products represent late-stage and low
clinical risk assets that are appropriate for JapanBridge. Given MPM's
extensive network of innovative biotechnology companies and
relationships with leading pharmaceutical companies, we represent a
rich source from which high value assets can be identified for
licensing by JapanBridge. Furthermore, we believe that our investments
continue to address productivity issues in the pharmaceutical
industry. Consistent with past successes, JapanBridge is a novel new
solution that has the potential to provide a significant return to its
shareholders. To optimize the outcome in a new area, in this case a
specialty pharma based on in-licensing Western drugs, we believe that
an organization should be built from scratch, including management,
capitalization, and asset selection. With JapanBridge, we are
confident that we have the right combination of those three
In November 2006, JapanBridge announced a $1.3 million seed
funding. The seed funding was used to survey the Japanese drug
development and commercialization environment, to make key management
hires, and to secure office space. 
With the most recent fund-raising, JapanBridge expects to
identify, license, and formulate a development commercialization
strategy for up to four pharmaceutical assets. Once the portfolio is
acquired and a development strategy for each is formulated,
JapanBridge expects to expand operations to enable commercial launch
of the products. According to Mr. Engen, JapanBridge will keep head
count at a minimum leveraging CROs and a network of clinical and
regulatory consultants until such time as a commercial operation is
needed for product marketing and launch. 
About MPM Capital: 
MPM Capital is the world's largest dedicated investor in life
sciences. With committed capital under management in excess of $2.5
billion, MPM Capital is uniquely structured to invest globally in
healthcare innovation. In addition to its MPM BioVentures family of
venture capital funds, MPM Capital invests in the public markets
through its MPM BioEquities hedge fund. Primarily in biotechnology and
biopharmaceuticals, but also in medical devices, MPM Capital has
seamlessly integrated its private and public platforms to focus on
innovation in healthcare and, thereby, delivering exceptional returns
to investors. MPM Capital is the manager of the MPM BioVentures and
MPM BioEquities family of funds - two distinctly different but highly
complementary investment platforms. 
About Kyowa Hakko: 
Kyowa Hakko is an R&D-based company with special strengths in
biotechnology. Kyowa Hakko is dedicated to the creation of new value
in the life sciences, especially in its core business segments of
Pharmaceuticals and Bio-Chemicals, and strives to contribute to the
health and well-being of people around the world. In Pharmaceuticals,
since contributing to the eradication of tuberculosis in Japan with
the introduction of streptomycin and developing Mitomycin C, now a
leading cancer chemotherapy agent, Kyowa Hakko has actively engaged in
the R&D, production, and sale of pharmaceuticals that address needs in
such areas as cancer, allergies, and hypertension. 
About ITOCHU Corporation: 
The history of ITOCHU Corporation dates back to 1858 when the
Company's founder Chubei Itoh commenced linen trading operations.
Since then, ITOCHU has evolved and grown over 150 years into a sogo
shosha, engaging in domestic trading, import/export, and overseas
trading of various products such as textiles, machinery, information
and communications-related products, metals, products related to oil
and other energy sources, general merchandise, chemicals, and
provisions and food. In addition, ITOCHU has made multifaceted
investments in insurance agencies, finance, construction, real estate
trading, and warehousing as well as operations and businesses
incidental or related to those fields. Under the former mid-term
management plan "Frontier-2006," ITOCHU reached its objective of
"becoming a Highly Profitable Corporate Group achieving over 100
billion Yen in consolidated net income in a steady and sustainable
manner." ITOCHU will now move forward with the implementation of our
new mid-term management plan, "Frontier+2008," under which we will
adopt an even more aggressive management policy and strive to enhance
corporate value on the world stage, in order to become "a Global
Enterprise that is highly attractive to all stakeholders." 
Annes Associates
Shari Annes, 650-888-0902 (U.S./Europe)
Carole Melis, 650-342-5686
Focused Communications
Mikiko Shirai, 81-3-5157-0033 (Japan)
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.