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12:00 AM
 | 
Feb 19, 2007
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Outsourcing from Japan

While a growing number of companies in the West are moving at least some of their R&D activities to Asia, Atlas Venture and a group of Japanese investors are thinking in the reverse direction. Shogoo Pharmaceuticals K.K., which recently raised 1.6 billion ($13.6 million) in a series A round, will be based in Japan but do its R&D in Europe. The idea behind the Japanese home base is to take advantage of a perceived demand for biotech by investors on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Indeed, 10 Japanese VCs participated in the round, which was co-led by seed investors Atlas and NIF SIMBC Co. Ltd. and also new investor Nomura Research and Advisory Co. Ltd.

Atlas and NIF had been incubating the idea of a Japanese startup since 2004, according to President and CEO Yoshihiro Toyohara. Toyohara, previously director of business alliance and diversified products for Pfizer Inc. (PFE, New York, N.Y.), was tapped...

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