SAN MATEO, Calif., Nov. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Rakuten Aspyrian, a biotechnology company developing precision-targeted cancer therapies based on its proprietary Photoimmunotherapy platform, today announced the appointment of Mickey Mikitani as chief executive officer. Mr. Mikitani, a global business leader, will also continue in his role of chairman. In conjunction, former CEO Miguel Garcia-Guzman, Ph.D. will transition to serve as Rakuten Aspyrian's vice chairman and chief scientific officer to continue to build the company's pipeline and drive innovation.
Rakuten Aspyrian also announced the appointment of Takashi Toraishi, Ph.D. as chief operating officer. Dr. Toraishi will oversee clinical trials and commercialization of Rakuten Aspyrian's products, as well as manage the growth of the organization.
"With our Photoimmunotherapy platform, Rakuten Aspyrian holds tremendous potential to offer alternative options for treating cancer," said Mr. Mikitani. "As CEO, I will harness this potential as we build a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company with research, development and world-wide commercialization capabilities. Our mission is to develop and commercialize a strong pipeline of treatment options based on Photoimmunotherapy to create a new platform for cancer treatments."
Mr. Mikitani joined the company as chairman in 2016 and has provided strategic direction and investment to support its corporate and clinical development. He is also the Chairman and CEO of Rakuten, Inc. [RKUNF], a leading Japanese global innovation company in e-commerce, communications and fintech, with the mission to contribute to society by creating value through innovation and entrepreneurship. Rakuten is also recognized as the Official Innovation and Entertainment Partner of one of the world's most admired soccer clubs, FC Barcelona, as well as the jersey partner of NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors.
Mr. Mikitani was awarded the Legion of Honour by the French government in recognition of contributions to the economy and culture of France. He also serves on the boards of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and Lyft, Inc. Mr. Mikitani received his B.A. of Commerce at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo and his MBA at Harvard Business School. At Harvard, he was awarded the Alumni Achievement Award, one of the school's highest honors.
Prior to his appointment as chief operating officer, Dr. Toraishi led operations as president of Rakuten Aspyrian Japan. Previously he was president of new service development company at Rakuten, Inc., where he spearheaded company-wide innovation initiatives and multiple joint ventures, shared economy and other companies. For nine years, Dr. Toraishi worked with McKinsey & Company, Tokyo, completing his tenure as partner and consultant to global medical device and equipment companies. He started his career as an assistant professor of engineering at the University of Tokyo and led the nuclear chemistry division of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency. Dr. Toraishi received his B.A. of Engineering and his Master of Engineering at the University of Tokyo, his Licentiate of Engineering, Nuclear Chemistry at the Royal Institute of Technology at Stockholm, as well as his Ph.D. in Nuclear Chemistry from the University of Tokyo.
About Rakuten Aspyrian, Inc.
Rakuten Aspyrian, Inc. is a privately funded clinical stage biotechnology company developing tumor-targeted precision therapies based on its proprietary platform Photoimmunotherapy. Photoimmunotherapy combines key advantages of antibody mediated targeting of the cancer cells to achieve high tumor specificity, together with laser-activation of a biophysical mechanism that induces rapid cancer cell death with precision. Treatments with the Photoimmunotherapy platform lead to targeted and rapid tumor cell death by necrosis, with minimal effects on normal tissue. Rakuten Aspyrian is studying Photoimmunotherapy for use as a monotherapy and in combination with other drugs.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause Rakuten Aspyrian actual results, plans and experience to differ materially from anticipated results and expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. These "forward-looking" statements include statements relating to, among other things, the commercialization efforts and other regulatory or marketing approval efforts pertaining to Rakuten Aspyrian's products such as ASP-1929. Such approvals or success may not be obtained or achieved on a timely basis or at all. Forward-looking statements include statements relating to the potential benefits, safety and efficacy of ASP-1929, and the status of current regulatory filings. These statements may be identified by words such as "anticipates," "believes," "hopes," "estimates," "looks," "expects," "intends," "potential," "may," "suggest, "plan," "strategy," "should," "will" and all other similar expressions, and are based on our current beliefs. In addition, this press release includes qualifying terms such as "significant," "remarkable," "extraordinary," etc. that describe opinions on clinical data. 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. We undertake no obligation to publicly update this or any other forward-looking statement, whether because of new information, future developments or events, changes in assumptions, changes in the factors affecting forward-looking statements or otherwise except to the extent required by applicable laws. If Rakuten Aspyrian updates one or more forward-looking statement(s), no inference should be drawn that we will make additional updates with respect to that, those or other forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Rakuten Aspyrian, Inc.