Former Mitsui VCs launching biopharma fund: VCJ

Two former venture investors with Japan’s Mitsui & Co. are seeking $150 million for a new fund called Remiges Biopharma, according to a securities filing.

Taro Inaba, former general manager of Mitsui’s healthcare and cleantech investment department, and Walter Olesiak, formerly an investment partner at Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners, are seeking to raise $150 million.

They have not closed on capital, according to the filing.

Neither Inaba nor Olesiak could be reached for comment. An email sent to Inaba’s former Mitsui account came back with a message stating he had left the company in May.

Olesiak’s LinkedIn profile lists him as a managing director at Connectis Ventures. The profile does not include a description of Connectis, which does not appear to have a website.

Inaba and Olesiak were instrumental in one of Mitsui’s most successful investments: An early-stage round for Boston Biomedical, a developer of stem cell-based cancer therapeutics. The company sold to Japan’s Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma in 2012 in a transaction valued at up to $2.6 billion. Mitsui was the Boston-based startup’s largest venture stakeholder.

Mitsui, one of Japan’s largest conglomerates, has a long history of venture investment in Asia and the United States. It currently makes venture and growth investments out of a subsidiary, Mitsui Global Investment, which grew out of Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners. Target sectors include IT, healthcare, retail and cleantech.

This story first appeared in Reuters Venture Capital Journal. Subscribers can read the original story here. To subscribe to VCJ and other venture-related research products, click here for the Marketplace.

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