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Kazunori Maruyama, Ph.D., President

Dr. Maruyama, appointed as the President of AVM as of April 1st, 2020, has in-depth unique experiences in multiple disciplines from drug discovery to strategic planning and business development in pharmaceutical industry. In March 2019, he re-joined at Research Planning & Administration, DDR, to lead various transactions for academic and/or biotech collaboration. Prior to that, he was the Head of Business Development Japan at a subsidiary of a China-based pharmaceutical company. In 2008-15, he served as Director, Innovation Management/Business Development at Research Planning & Administration, DDR. Dr. Maruyama has committed to AVM since its inception and been appointed to the key positions at AVM for 7 years in total, where he led 10 plus new investment deals, which ended up with 5 plus successful exits. Dr. Maruyama holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Chemistry from the University of Tokyo.


Hiromichi Kimura, Ph.D., Investment Director

Dr. Kimura has more than 20 years R&D experience. Dr. Kimura leads multiangle-organization management of both new investments including LP position and portfolio company in Board, SAB, KOL meetings. His expertise has been delegated to any due diligence with innovative activities. Before joining AVM, he has served as Head of Alliance & Management Group in Drug discovery research at Astellas Pharma Inc. including management of research section of post-merger integration of Biotech and venture. Dr Kimura has conducted drug discovery as Research Manager, Oncology research unit, Astellas Pharma Inc. since 2014. He was previously Research Head, head of pharmacology in Oncology Drug Discovery Unit, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, and Drug Discovery department in Millennium: Takeda Oncology Company. In this capacity of an officer with high responsibility, Dr Kimura was responsible for drug discovery from early to late stage including innovative technologies at Japan facility as well as global drug discovery initiatives. He also served the number of academic lectures with academic appointments. Prior to his tenure at Takeda, Dr Kimura was dedicated to conducting drug discovery and developing Translational Research as a Senior Research Leader in St Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Dr Tom Curran, FRS, currently Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the Children’s Research Institute, Children’s Mercy), in collaboration with Genentech (Dr Fred de Savage, Vice president) and Curis (Dr Lee Rubin, CSO, currently Professor at Harvard University). The activity brought the project to launch/expand as Vismodegib®. Dr Kimura received a Ph.D. with distinction in Epigenetics, Cellular Molecular Biology/Veterinary Medical Sciences from the University of Tokyo.


Satoshi Konagai, Senior Investment Manager

Mr. Konagai joined AVM in 2020. Before joining AVM, he worked at the Strategic department at Astellas Pharma Inc. based in Tokyo HQ since 2015. He has led various internal projects and evaluation of external later stage opportunities across multiple therapeutic areas and modalities including Oncology, Ophthalmology and regenerative medicine. In parallel, he served as a member who develops corporate global R&D strategy and business strategy for regenerative medicine using his scientific and business intelligence. From 2004 to 2015, he was engaged in Oncology research programs including kinase inhibitors, Immuno-Oncology and biologics from target discovery to clinical stage as a pharmacology research scientist in Drug Discovery Research Center at Astellas Pharma Inc. Mr. Konagai has received his Master of Life Science degree in the field of Integrated Life Science from Kyoto University.


Tadayoshi Hirata, Senior Investment Manager

Mr. Hirata Joined AVM in April 2018. Prior to Joining AVM, he worked in Innovation Management at Astellas Pharma Inc. (Japan) since April 2016, in charge of business transaction for early stage partnering deals. From June 2009 to March 2016, he worked for Clinical Pharmacology Department at Astellas Pharma Inc. taking a lead in preparing early-stage clinical development plans utilizing translational science principles. He also led clinical study protocol preparation and data analysis, and coordinated and managed preparation of applications for Clinical Pharmacology components, including Briefing Documents, INDs and NDAs and represented as a Clinical Pharmacology representative to the relevant regulatory authorities. He started his job career as a research scientist at MSD (Former Banyu Pharmaceutical co., LTD. a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.) in April 2005 with background on pharmacokinetics and molecular biology.


Hikaru Saito, Ph.D., Senior Investment Manager

Dr. Saito joined AVM in April 2017. Prior to AVM, he worked in Innovation Management at Astellas Pharma Inc. based in Tokyo HQ since October 2015, in charge of due diligence activities for potential business partnerships. From April 2010 to September 2015, he worked as a research scientist, Pharmaceutical Research and Technology Labs. at Astellas Pharma Inc. in the field of drug formulation of oral and parenteral dosage forms. In his research position, he dedicated to formulation development including novel drug delivery system and manufacturing process development of drug products for the commercialization and also responsible for a technology development for in-house program in the field of new business beyond therapeutics through combination of drugs and medical devices. Dr. Saito received his Ph.D. in Biomolecular Engineering and a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Biotechnology from the Tokyo Institute of Technology.


Sorato Ikeda, MSc, Senior Investment Manager

Mr. Ikeda joined AVM in October 2019. Prior to AVM, he worked as a research scientist in Pharmaceutical Research and Technology Labs. in Astellas Pharma Inc. Since 2012, he belonged to DDS lab and started research and development for new technologies in the field of pharmaceutical technology, widely from controlled release formulation, functional devices etc. He also initiated the development of concept formulation for drug substances in preclinical stage for improving drug efficacy and reducing toxicity with Drug delivery system. From In addition, April 2010 to March 2012, he engaged in formulation development of oral dosage form scientist in Pharmaceutical Research and Technology Labs. Mr. Ikeda received his MSc in Material Engineering from The University of Tokyo.


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