Team Members

Sakae Asanuma, CFA, President

Sakae Asanuma joined Taiho as the founder of Taiho Ventures in 2016. Prior to joining Taiho, he was President and CEO at Astellas Venture Management and US Head of Astellas Innovation Management. At Astellas, he closed more than 10 research collaboration deals with academia and biotech ventures, including establishing six new build-to-buy or spin-out companies. Prior to working at Astellas, he was General Manager at Yasuda Enterprise, a Japanese VC firm with $800M under management. He has invested in more than 35 companies, achieving 11 IPOs and 8 M&As to date as a Bay Area-based biotech venture capitalist since 2000.

Toshiyasu Shimomura, PhD, Investment Director

Toshiyasu Shimomura joined Taiho in 2009. His background is in biology and oncology drug discovery and development. He was a project chair of TAS-117, Taiho's AKT inhibitor, and he was responsible for its early clinical development strategy. He and his colleagues identified TAS-117 and conducted its preclinical evaluation. Prior to joining Taiho, he worked for Banyu Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. from 1999. At Banyu, he led several drug discovery projects as a Manager of their Oncology Department from 2004.

Seiji Miyahara, PhD, Associate Investment Director

Seiji Miyahara has over 12 years of extensive experience in oncology drug discovery and medicinal chemistry at Taiho, where he was involved in the development of first-in-class dUTPase/DPD dual inhibitor (TAS-114) and a wide range of oncology drug discovery programs. He has also worked as a project team leader related to cancer metabolism for over 5 years. He received his PhD in life science from Hokkaido University.