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Rakuten Medical appoints David Chao and Kentaro Hyakuno to its Board of Directors, Welcomes new CFO and General Counsel to Executive Leadership Team

November 11, 2019 GMT
Company logo red on white (PRNewsfoto/Rakuten Medical, Inc.)
Company logo red on white (PRNewsfoto/Rakuten Medical, Inc.)

SAN MATEO, Calif., Nov. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Rakuten Medical, a clinical-stage, global biotechnology company developing precision-targeted cancer therapies based on its proprietary, anti-cancer treatment platform, Rakuten Medical’s Illuminox™, has appointed two new directors to the company’s Board: David Chao, co-founder and General Partner of DCM Ventures; and Kentaro Hyakuno, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Group Executive Vice President of Rakuten, Inc. Two key leadership positions have also been filled with the hiring of Brenton Keath as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and Dana Johnson as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.

“Rakuten Medical is pleased to announce these important additions to our executive leadership team and board of directors, who have joined on the heels of our recent $100 million funding round,” said Mickey Mikitani, chairman and CEO of Rakuten Medical. “Throughout 2019, we have been focused on assembling experts across all levels of the organization to expand our R&D and commercial capabilities. It is imperative that we have a solid foundation to deliver upon our mission of conquering cancer and bringing safe and effective cancer-treatment options to patients across the globe.”

David Chao has been listed as one of the top venture capitalists by Forbes Magazine for over a decade and named to the Forbes Midas List Hall of Fame in 2016. Chao is co-founder and General Partner of DCM Ventures, a venture capital firm with more than $4 billion under management. He is also Chairman of 51job, a trustee of The Thacher School and serves on the advisory board of Legend Capital. His VC investments include Sling Media, SoFi, Musical.ly (Tik Tok), Bill.com, 51job, and Lime.

Kentaro Hyakuno is a Group Executive Vice President of Rakuten, Inc., one of the world’s leading internet services companies, and in 2016, assumed his current position as COO. Hyakuno is also a Senior Director of the Group Company Division, which spans across corporate planning, human resources and corporate communications, and reporting directly to Rakuten Chairman and CEO, Mickey Mikitani. Hyakuno’s previous responsibilities included leadership of the company’s Group Strategy and Global Business, focusing on e-commerce and digital content. Under his leadership, Rakuten expanded globally and established regional headquarters in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Before joining Rakuten in 2007, Hyakuno’s substantial 17-year career at Toyota Motor Corporation included responsibility for global expansion, overseas operations and projects for operational consultation to third parties. During his tenure with Toyota, Hyakuno worked in over 10 countries and regions, including Japan, the U.S. and Europe.

As CFO for Rakuten Medical, Brenton Keath is a chartered accountant and brings 20 years of finance experience to the company. He previously served as head of Finance for Rakuten Commerce, the U.S. e-commerce marketplace. During his tenure at Rakuten USA, Inc., he also built and led the company’s post-merger integration team as its VP of Mergers & Acquisitions Integration. Earlier in his career, Keath held M&A and financial positions at KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Dana Johnson is an accomplished executive life sciences attorney who has been hired to serve as Rakuten Medical’s General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Over the past 15 years, she has represented pharmaceutical and medical device clients as internal and external counsel, and served in leadership positions at publicly held biotechnology companies, most recently at Gritstone Oncology, Inc. Her expertise is focused on global development sciences, licensing and partnership strategies, global IP portfolio management, IPO, corporate and healthcare compliance, and litigation.

About Rakuten Medical
Rakuten Medical, Inc. (RMI) is a privately funded, clinical-stage biotechnology company with offices in the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, Germany and the Netherlands. Rakuten Medical aims to become a leader in precision-targeted medicines through Rakuten Medical’s Illuminox™, its proprietary, anti-cancer treatment platform. The Company’s lead product, ASP-1929, the first investigational product based on RMI’s Illuminox, has achieved Fast Track designation from both the FDA and the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. ASP-1929 is currently the subject of a global, Phase 3 clinical trial for recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Additional Phase 2 studies for ASP-1929 are also underway to evaluate the safety in patients with other cancer types. For more information, visit www.rakuten-med.com.

About Rakuten Medical’s Illuminox™
Rakuten Medical’s Illuminox™ is a proprietary, anti-cancer treatment platform of Rakuten Medical that is comprised of drug, device and other related technologies. Transient excitation of this drug, including antibodies conjugated to light-excitable dyes, with non-thermal light is believed to result in anti-cancer activity and in rapid and selective cell killing and tumor necrosis with minimal effects on surrounding normal tissue. It may also lead to the systemic induction of innate and adaptive immunity. RMI’s Illuminox is based upon the photoimmunotherapy treatment platform developed at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and licensed exclusively to Rakuten Medical for commercialization. RMI’s Illuminox is the Rakuten Medical platform used for the development of specific therapies using a combination of drug, device and other technologies. None of these therapies based on this platform have been approved by any regulatory authority. The RMI Illuminox platform is not a drug nor device on its own and is not the brand name of a drug nor device.

Global Corporate & Business Development & Media Contacts

Abhijit Bhatia

Melissa Conger

abhijit.bhatia@rakuten-med.com

melissa.conger@rakuten-med.com

Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the (United States) Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions that could cause Rakuten Medical’s actual results and experience to differ materially from anticipated results and expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include information concerning its proprietary anti-cancer platform known as Rakuten Medical’s Illuminox™ and the commercialization of services related to Rakuten Medical products such as ASP-1929 and other initiatives toward regulatory approval for products to be sold and marketed. These products may not successfully be granted regulatory approval to be sold and marketed, or may not be commercially successful. Forward-looking statements suggest potential profitability, efficacy and safety, and the status of the application for approval. Rakuten Medical has in some cases identified forward-looking statements by using words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “hopes,” “estimates,” “looks,” “expects,” “intends,” “potential,” “may,” “suggest,” “plans,” “strategizes,” “likely”, “will”, and similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are based upon Rakuten Medical’s current beliefs. Moreover, this press release states an opinion related to clinical research data, hence the use of expressions such as “important,” “notable” and “abnormal.” Ongoing clinical studies involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in such statements, including uncertainty of success in regulatory approval or commercialization of ASP-1929 which may be impacted by, among other things, problems with the manufacturing process for ASP-1929, the occurrence of adverse safety events, failure to demonstrate therapeutic benefit, and the other risks and uncertainties, both reasonable and unreasonable. Rakuten Medical undertakes no obligation to release publicly the results of any revisions to any such forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect new information obtained, events or circumstances after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by applicable law or regulation. In the event of one or more revisions to Rakuten Medical’s forward-looking statement, it should not be inferred that such revisions or other forward-looking statements will be further revised.

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SOURCE Rakuten Medical, Inc.