Tokyo-based pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma has entered a partnership with New Jersey-headquartered Drais Pharmceuticals, its third such partnership to date.

Under the terms of the deal, on May 7, 2013, Astellas’ corporate venture arm Astellas Venture Management is joining with venture capital firms InterWest Partners and Sutter Hill Ventures to invest $15m in Tacurion Pharma.  Tacurion is a so-called virtual company, to which Astellas will licence its ASP7035 compound for the treatment of nocturia (a condition characterized by the frequent need to urinate at night).

Tacurion will be operated by Drais Pharmaceuticals’ executive team, who were previously the senior management of Yamanouchi R&D (a precursor company to Astellas) and who later served with AkaRx, in which Astellas Venture Management was an investor.  Dr. Arnold Oronsky, general partner at InterWest, and Dr. Jeff Bird, managing director at Sutter Hill Ventures, are both board members and investors in Drais; they previously held…

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