August 2, 2019
  • Rakuten Medical, Inc.
  • Rakuten, Inc

Rakuten Medical Secures Additional Investment from Rakuten to Further Develop its Photoimmunotherapy Platform Capabilities

Investment to also support pipeline growth, and global business and commercial expansion

San Mateo, Calif./Tokyo – August 2, 2019 – Rakuten Medical, Inc., a clinical-stage, global biotechnology company developing precision-targeted cancer therapies based on its proprietary Photoimmunotherapy (PIT) platform, has raised approximately US $100 million on July 31, 2019 in a Series C-1 Preferred Stock financing from Rakuten, Inc, a global leader in internet services headquartered in Japan. This investment is increasing Rakuten’s equity share of Rakuten Medical to 22.6 percent.

Rakuten Medical intends to use the additional injection of capital to expand the development of the company’s oncology-focused PIT platform, strengthen its business and commercial functions, and provide resources to further identify and evaluate new investigational compounds and indications for the potential treatment of other types of cancers using PIT.

“The additional investment from Rakuten solidifies our commitment to accelerating Rakuten Medical’s business and commercial development," said Mickey Mikitani, chairman and CEO of Rakuten Medical. "I believe we can cultivate a sustainable health care ecosystem to provide patients with safe and easy access to, and better care in, the treatment of cancer, regardless of their nationality or income. Culturally, the technology industry has revolutionized society by being bold, action-driven and innovative; and we hope to do the same at Rakuten Medical by exploring opportunities that will combine Rakuten’s technology expertise with Rakuten Medical’s first-in-class Photoimmunotherapy platform.”

Based on the additional investment, Rakuten Medical will become an equity-method affiliate of Rakuten in the third quarter of this fiscal year.

About Photoimmunotherapy
Photoimmunotherapy (PIT) is an investigational, anti-cancer treatment platform that is comprised of a drug and device combination that utilizes monoclonal antibodies conjugated to a dye (IRDye® 700DX). Transient excitation of IRDye 700Dx with non-thermal red light (690 nm) is believed to result in anti-cancer activity, which is mediated by biophysical processes that may compromise the membrane integrity of cells. The requirement of targeted binding of antibody-IR700 conjugate to a specific antigen on the cell surface and subsequent illumination is believed to result in rapid and selective cell killing and tumor necrosis with minimal effects on surrounding normal tissue. PIT may also lead to the systemic induction of innate and adaptive immunity.

About Rakuten Medical
Rakuten Medical is a privately funded, clinical-stage, global biotechnology company with offices in the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, Germany and Netherlands. Rakuten Medical aims to become a leader in precision-targeted medicines through its proprietary photoimmunotherapy platform, which is being studied in ongoing clinical trials, evaluating its safety and effectiveness as a cancer-treatment option that can be administered independently, or in combination with other drugs. Rakuten Medical’s lead product, ASP-1929, has achieved Fast Track designation from both the FDA and the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare; and is conducting a global Phase 3 clinical trial for recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Additional Phase 2 studies for ASP-1929 PIT are also underway to evaluate the safety in patients with other cancer types. For more information, visit

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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