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Eisai Creates US Subsidiary H3 Biomedicine with up to $200M

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Japanese drug firm Eisai has launched US subsidiary H3 Biomedicine with up to $200 million in funding to develop new oncology drugs based on patient genetic information.

Based in Cambridge, Mass., H3 Biomedicine aims to take a personalized medicine approach to developing such drugs by leveraging new insights into the genetic basis of cancer and advances in modern chemistry.

Using genetic biomarkers, the company will develop new treatments that target specific weak points in specific cancers. In addition to allowing individualized, tailored treatments, such an approach is expected to shorten clinical development time and reduce clinical trial costs, H3 Biomedicine said.

The $200 million is for 10 years and Eisai will further fund clinical development of compounds created by H3 Biomedicine, Eisai said.

Stuart Schreiber and Todd Golub, professors of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University and founding members of the Broad Institute, are the scientific founders of H3 Biomedicine and will serve as scientific advisors.

Kentaro Yoshimatsu, chief scientific officer at Eisai Product Creation Systems, now will also serve as H3 Biomedicine's president.

In a statement, H3 Biomedicine said that in addition to funding, Eisai is providing it access to many of Eisai's drug development capabilities "allowing H3 Biomedicine to focus on first-in-class drug discovery innovation."

"Furthermore, the Eisai affiliation will enable H3 biomedicine to take a longer-term view of its drug discovery activities than is typical of many venture-backed startup companies," the company added. "This model is thus intended to capture the best of both the biotech and large pharmaceutical company worlds."