Mitsui's venture investment subsidiary to sell its Shares in Boston Biomedical, Inc.

Feb. 29, 2012

Main Contents

Mitsui & Co. Ltd.'s ("Mitsui", head office: Tokyo, President and CEO: Masami Iijima) venture investment subsidiary in U.S.A., Mitsui & Co. Global Investment, Inc. ("MGI USA", head office: New York, U.S.A., President: Kenichi Kimura, 100% owned by Mitsui,) announced that it agreed to sell its entire equity position in Boston Biomedical, Inc. ("BBI") held by funds under its management to Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. Ltd ("Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma") on February 29, 2012.

A share purchase agreement was concluded between all existing BBI shareholders ("BBI shareholders"), including MGI USA, and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma. BBI shareholders will receive US$200 million from Dainippon Sumitomo upon deal closing. Furthermore, BBI shareholders may receive up to an additional US$540 million based on achievement of development milestones by compounds under development, and after launch, an additional US$1,890 million upon reaching sales milestone.

BBI is an innovative drug development company in the cancer field. The company is developing the small molecule oral compounds (*1), BBI608 and BBI503, as antitumor agents targeting cancer stem cells (*2). Cancer stem cell-targeting agents are gaining prominence globally as they represent a potentially new approach to the treatment of refractory, recurrent and metastatic cancers. Now BBI608 is preparing for Phase III trials (*3) in North America and if development is successful, there is the possibility that the compound will enter the market as the first anticancer drug targeting cancer stem cells.

MGI USA invested in BBI soon after its establishment believing in management's outstanding leadership, and in the innovativeness of BBI608 and BBI503. MGI USA was active in the management of the new company in the US through participation on the board of BBI and supported the company's US - Japan business development activities.

Mitsui is actively investing in new drug R&D, and drug development businesses, among other industries, and through its subsidiary MGI USA cultivates the development of US venture firms. In the future our mission will remain committed to guiding efforts to establish venture businesses with superior technology, to help support new business start-ups, and to seek new investment opportunities on a global basis.

Definition of terms

*1 Small molecule oral compound:
A small molecule compound (in development) able to be administered orally as a drug.

*2 Cancer stem cell:
A stem cell is a cell that has the ability to differentiate into multiple different types of cells (pluripotency) and after differentiation, still maintains pluripotency. Among cancer cells, stem cell-like cancer cell are believed to exist, and are considered to have an important role especially in refractory, recurrent and metastatic cancers. Therefore, development of drugs specifically targeting cancer stem cells and with low toxicity is expected.

*3 Phase III trial:
Drug development starts with seeking a candidate compound which has the potential to become a drug, and after evaluation of safety and efficacy in animals begins clinical testing on human trial subjects. Phase III is the last stage of clinical development where efficacy and safety is statistically evaluated and upon which marketing approval is granted.

Profile of Mitsui & Co. Global Investment, Inc.

Representative Kenichi Kimura (President & CEO)
Location New York, U.S.A.
Business MGI USA is Mitsui's venture investment subsidiary focused on venture investments primarily in North America. The company has offices in New York, and Menlo Park and cooperates with Mitsui & Co. Global Investment, Ltd in Japan, which is the venture investment subsidiary of Mitsui & Co. Ltd, and is active in venture investments mainly in healthcare and IT areas in North America.

Profile of Boston Biomedical, Inc.

Representative Dr. Chiang J Li, M.D. FACP (Chairman, CEO & CMO)
Location Norwood, MA, U.S.A.
Business BBI is a biotech venture firm established in 2006 and focused on the research and development of cancer therapy. Boston Biomedical is developing a world-class product pipeline targeting cancer stem cells. BBI received multiple awards including the Frost and Sullivan 2010 North America Drug Discovery Technology Innovation of the Year Award, in recognition of it innovativeness in new drug development.

This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Mitsui's current assumptions, expectations and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause Mitsui's actual results, financial position or cash flows to be materially different from any future results, financial position or cash flows expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors referred to above include, but are not limited to, those contained in Mitsui's latest Annual Securities Report and Quarterly Securities Report, and Mitsui undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.
This announcement is published in order to publicly announce specific facts stated above, and does not constitute a solicitation of investments or any similar act inside or outside of Japan, regarding the shares, bonds or other securities issued by us.


For inquiries on this matter, please contact

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Corporate Communications Division
Telephone: +81-80-5912-0321
Facsimile: +81-3-3285-9819
Contact form