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Softbank, Scientia to Set Up New Firm to Support Japanese Genomics Ventures - Reuters

NEW YORK, May 22 – Softbank Finance of Japan and Scientia Health Group, an American incubator for biotechnology ideas, will launch Scientia Japan, which will support genomics firms in Japan, Reuters reported from Tokyo on Tuesday.

"I'm very proud to announce this. We're entering into the world of human genomics," Reuters cited Yoshitaka Kitao, president of Softbank Finance, as saying at a news conference.

Japan has only some 60 genome-related companies, Kitao reportedly said.

Softbank Finance, a wholly owned unit of Japan's top Internet investor Softbank Corp., will hold 51 percent of Scientia Japan.

Kitao said that information technology and genome technology would be the new company’s two main focuses. He did not say when the company would be launched or what its capitalization would be.

In January, Softbank said it would set up a $120 million fund sometime this spring to finance US, European, and Asian life science companies.

At the time Softbank disclosed its plans it had not yet decided what percentage of the funds would go toward genomics businesses.

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