ARTham Therapeutics launched on July 1st 2018 to deliver “Medicines that Matter” for diseases with high unmet medical need.
ARTham Therapeutics Inc. (“ARTham”) was launched in Japan on July 1, 2018 with a compelling portfolio developed through unraveling hidden value of existing pharma assets.
“ARTham, which in Sanskrit means “deep meaning and value”, highlights the pharma R&D as a fine art. We are very excited to generate new ‘medicines that matter for patients’ through deeper understanding of science” said Dr. Sham Nikam, CEO of the company, who in the past led the Entrepreneurship Venture Program (EVP) with Dr. Hiroshi Nagabukuro (ARTham’s COO/CSO), at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Japan. Takeda launched EVP initiative to promote entrepreneurship at Japan R&D sites.
ARTham is a virtual R&D company that seeks the best academic and business partners to rapidly develop high value clinical candidates. Founding members consists of leaders with global scientific and management experience, Dr. Sham Nikam, Dr. Hiroshi Nagabukuro, and Akira Tanaka (Senior Director) with scientific and clinical advice from Dr. Naoto Uemura, Professor, Clinical Pharmacology, Oita University.
The initial assets are in-licensed from Takeda, and include preclinical and clinical candidates for the treatment of inflammatory, fibrotic disorders such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), vascular malformations, endometriosis, cancer and psoriasis. The portfolio will grow through global strategic partnerships with pharmacos, and academic, scientific as well as governmental organizations. “The strategic collaborations and partnerships will drive the success of the company. For example, active collaborations with Clinical Pharmacology Center of Oita University Hospital, led by Dr. Uemura will facilitate and enable critical decision-making at Phase 1/Phase 2 clinical trials”, said Dr. Nagabukuro. On September 14, 2018, Clinical Trial Notification (CTN) for ARTham’s first candidate ART-648 for NASH treatment was approved by the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency, Japan. Phase I trial for ART-648 will start in January 2019 as investigator-initiated study conducted at Oita University Hospital. The second clinical program for vascular malformations is in pre-CTN/IND stage. Program was awarded a research grant from Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) in collaboration with academic investigators.
ARTham has obtained series A investments from investor syndicate comprising of Miyako Capital (lead investor), Takeda, SMBC Venture Capital, Mizuhoo Capital and Oita Venture Capital. Dr. Hiroyuki Misawa, Partner of Miyako Capital and Prof. Seigo Kitano, President of Oita University, have strongly endorsed this venture as one of the unique business-academia collaborations in Japan.