Team Members

Sakae Asanuma, CFA, MBA, President & CEO

Sakae Asanuma established Taiho Ventures as the founding President in 2016. Prior to joining Taiho, he was President and CEO at Astellas Venture Management and US Head of Astellas Innovation Management in 2011-2015. Prior to Astellas, he worked for Yasuda Enterprise, a Japan/US-based VC firm in 2000-2011. He has invested in more than 50 biotech companies since 2000 and majority of his portfolios achieved IPOs or M&AS. During his tenure at Taiho and Astellas, he led to executed dozens of research collaboration deals with academia and biotech ventures, including several build-to-buys or spin-outs.

Seiji Miyahara, PhD, Senior Investment Director

Dr. Miyahara is a Senior Investment Director at Taiho Ventures. He has over 18 years of experience in the life sciences industry spanning R&D, company creation and venture capital investments across a broad range of modalities. Currently he serves as a member of the board of directors or board observer for multiple Taiho portfolio companies. Prior to joining Taiho Ventures in 2016, he worked at Taiho Pharmaceutical for 12 years mainly in oncology field, where he played a critical role in advancing multiple programs into the clinical stage. He received his PhD in life science from Hokkaido University, Japan.

TAKAAKI ISHII, INVESTMENT DIRECTOR

Takaaki Ishii, a molecular biologist by training, joined Taiho Ventures in 2019. He has acquired over 11 years of oncology expertise in early stage clinical development, product portfolio strategies as well as scientific evaluations for in-house and potential partnering programs in a wide range of cancer types. His representative contribution to Taiho Pharmaceutical includes in-licensing AB928 (A2aR/A2bR Dual Antagonist) from Arcus Biosciences as well as both medical and Medical Science Liaison activities for nab-paclitaxel (ABRAXANE®) and pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®) in Japan.

HIDEFUMI KASUGA, PHD, ASSOCIATE INVESTMENT DIRECTOR

Hidefumi Kasua joined Taiho Ventures in 2022. He previously spent nine years in oncology drug discovery at Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., where he focused on compounds targeting a protein known as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Hidefumi earned in his PhD in pharmaceutical science from the University of Tokyo in 2013.

YUICHI FUKUSHIMA, ASSOCIATE INVESTMENT DIRECTOR

Yuichi Fukushima joined Taiho Ventures in July 2023. He previously worked at Taiho Pharmaceutical for 15 years, during which time he served on the medical affairs teams for Abraxane (nab-paclitaxel), Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and Yondelis (trabectedin). While at Taiho Pharmaceutical, Yuichi also planned and managed preclinical joint research with academia engaged in corporate strategy planning. He earned a Master of Science from Osaka University for his work on a molecular mechanism of thalamocortical axonal branching formation.