Taiho Ventures LogoTaiho Ventures has announced its investment in Arcus Biosciences of Hayward (CA, USA). Arcus raised an additional $70 million in equity capital from Taiho Ventures, GV, Invus, DROIA Oncology Ventures and Stanford University, together with its Series A investors, including The Column Group, Foresite Capital, Novartis and Celgene.

This funding allows Arcus to continue its rapid drug development activities for the company’s small molecule and antibody immuno-oncology approaches with the goal of building its own internal combinations.

“Taiho Ventures is pleased to support the Arcus team and its promising drug pipeline programmes,” said Nobuyuki Hashimoto, Executive Director, Board Member and Global Chief Corporate Officer at Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd and Investment Committee member at Taiho Ventures.

“Terry Rosen, Chief Executive Officer, and Juan Jaen, President, are among the leaders in the oncology drug discovery field with more than 20 years of experience, and have built an innovative immuno-oncology programme at Flexus, leading to the significant acquisition transaction with Bristol-Myers Squibb in a short period of time. Together, they have many years of industry experience as successful entrepreneurs and are invaluable as they take Arcus to the next level with this significant round of financing,” he added.

“The addition of Taiho Ventures to this round of investment will augment the financial and business resources available to Arcus to help build a successful company in the immuno-oncology space, in particular, looking at the Japan and Asian market,” said Dr Rosen. “They have significant experience in the industry and will provide guidance in the company’s Japan/Asian strategic direction.”

Arcus Biosciences is an innovative immuno-oncology company that is developing both small molecules and antibodies, enabling the combinations of agents from internal programmes. The company has selected its first three targets for small molecules along the ATP-adenosine pathway; CD73, CD39 and the A2A receptor and set the goals to take some of those programmes into the clinic in 2017.