2024-03-06| Funding

Rakuten Medical Completes $119 Million Series E Financing to Develop Alluminox™ Platform

by Oscar Wu
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Rakuten Medical, Inc., a global biotechnology company developing and commercializing precision cell targeting therapies based on its proprietary Alluminox™ platform. On March 6, 2024, in San Diego, California, they announced the completion of a $119 million Series E preferred stock financing, including $45 million in new capital and the conversion of $74 million of convertible promissory notes with accrued interest.

Funding to Support Photoimmunotherapy Clinical Trials, Drug Discovery, and Medical Devices Development

Rakuten Medical intends to further develop its proprietary Alluminox™ platform and contribute  to the future of patients and healthcare around the world by allocating the funds raised for the  following business priorities:

  • Continuing efforts to accelerate its global Phase 3 clinical trial (ASP-1929-301 study, Identifier: NCT03769506) of Alluminox treatment (photoimmunotherapy)  using ASP-1929, with the goal of achieving approval of ASP-1929 in the United States and  several other countries and regions as soon as possible 
  • Supporting ongoing clinical trials and initiating new studies for Alluminox treatment using  its three key assets (ASP-1929, RM-1995, and RM-0256), including combination therapy with  anti-PD-1, which has shown promising early data that Rakuten Medical believes warrant  additional clinical studies
  • In-house discovery of new drug conjugates under its drug discovery program, Alluminox Palette™ 
  • Development of new medical devices to improve treatment in the clinic and trials
  • Leveraging learning and experience from Alluminox treatment in the commercial setting in Japan in an effort to improve patient outcomes and for further understanding and  development of this treatment technology

Mickey Mikitani, Co-CEO of Rakuten Medical, commented, “We are very proud to have raised  $119 million in Series E financing despite the challenging market environment for biotechnology companies in 2023, when we started this financing round. I would like to thank our many investors for having valued our achievements and great potential. The Alluminox™ platform will continue to evolve, and together with our trusted business partners and the healthcare professionals who believe in our technology, we will expand this innovative therapy both  geographically and clinically, and pave the way for a brighter future.” 

Rakuten Medical Attracts New and Existing Investors

One of the major investors in this Series E Financing is Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (“Hikma”), a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in the UK, with a local presence across the  MENA region, North America and Europe. Other major investors include existing investors such as Rakuten Group, Inc., a global internet services company and its Chairman and CEO, Mickey  Mikitani, and SBI Group, a leading venture capital firm in Japan, as well as new investors Mizuho  Bank, Ltd. and the Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited, leading Japanese financial institutions.

Mazen Darwazah Appointed to Rakuten Medical Board

Rakuten Medical also welcomed Mazen Darwazah, Hikma’s Executive Vice Chairman and  President of MENA region, to its Board of Directors. Darwazah is an experienced executive with more than 38 years of pharmaceutical industry experience gained through serving in various positions within the Hikma Group. With his strong operational direction and experience in driving strategic business decisions that grow healthcare businesses in the MENA region and globally, Darwazah will add value as a solid guide for Rakuten Medical as it moves to a new stage of uncovering more potential as a global biotechnology company.

In making this investment and appointment to the Board of Directors, Darwazah commented,  “I am honored to join Rakuten Medical’s board. Through this appointment, I am looking  forward to driving synergies and facilitating a closer working relationship with an important  partner that shares Hikma’s vision of shaping a healthier world.”

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