Takeda pours $25M into biotech dealmaker BioMotiv

BioMotiv CEO Baiju Shah

Takeda Pharmaceutical has stepped up with a $25 million investment in Cleveland's BioMotiv, buying into the accelerator's promise to transform academic discoveries into market-bound therapeutics.

Formed in 2012, BioMotiv is the for-profit brainchild of University Hospitals of Cleveland and the Harrington Family, designed to ferret out early-stage products from research institutions around the globe and use investors' cash to bring them to fruition.

Takeda is co-signing that model, coming aboard as both an investor and collaborator. Under the deal, the Japanese drugmaker is investing $25 million over 5 years, a sum that gives it exclusive rights to BioMotiv programs in immunology, inflammation and cardio-metabolic diseases.

Such a buy-in from pharma is integral to the success of BioMotiv's approach to R&D, CEO Baiju Shah said. The accelerator's grand scheme is to better connect non-industry researchers with professional drug development organizations, creating "bench-to-bedside clinical insights," he said. And that requires the collaboration of large drugmakers.

"This strategic relationship with Takeda provides for a seamless continuum of expertise to aggressively advance physician-scientist derived therapeutic innovations through proof of concept and into clinical development and eventual commercialization," Shah said in a statement. "If we truly want to deliver medical breakthroughs to patients for whom therapeutic options are currently limited, or absent, it is vital to forge these close relationships among innovators, expert resources and pharmaceutical companies at the earliest opportunity."

For BioMotiv, the $25 million promise comes on the heels of a $20 million commitment from Torrey Pines Investment, secured in August, and $46 million in earlier financing from a slew of institutional investors.

- read the announcement (PDF)

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