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Specialty bridge to Japan

Japan does not have a very large biotech industry, mainly because the country's regulatory and financing environments are not conducive to startups. A large Japanese trading company and a U.S. venture firm have launched a Western-style specialty pharma company that they hope will break through the barriers.

JapanBridge Inc. was incorporated last November with the goal of in-licensing cancer products that are in late-stage development in the U.S. and Europe, and bringing them to market in Japan. Although this model is hardly revolutionary in the West, it's a novel idea in Japan, according to CEO Steve Engen.

JapanBridge was the brainchild of MPM Capital and Itochu Corp. (Tokyo:8001, Tokyo, Japan), which started meeting with

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