Healthcare Industry News:  tumor-targeted precision therapies 

Biopharmaceuticals Oncology

 News Release - March 1, 2019

Rakuten Aspyrian Announces Name Change to Rakuten Medical

SAN MATEO, Calif., March 1, 2019 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Rakuten Aspyrian, a biotechnology company developing precision-targeted cancer therapies based on its proprietary Photoimmunotherapy platform, today announced that it has changed its name to Rakuten Medical, Inc. This name more closely reflects the company's corporate purpose of creating a global biotechnology company integrating research and development with commercial operations in order to develop therapeutics that improve cancer patient outcomes.

"We are aiming to deliver PIT platform to as many cancer patients and as early as possible worldwide. Our new name that becomes effective today, Rakuten Medical, better aligns with our goal of developing a global brand that resonates within the pharmaceutical and medical device industries," said Mickey Mikitani, chairman and CEO of Rakuten Medical. "Despite our name change, our mission of 'Conquering cancer, For life' will not change. We are stronger today than ever before as we continue building the organization necessary to conquer cancer by developing innovative cancer treatments."

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About Rakuten Medical, Inc.

Rakuten Medical, Inc. is a privately funded clinical stage biotechnology company developing tumor-targeted precision therapies based on its proprietary platform Photoimmunotherapy (PIT). We aim to discover, develop and commercialize therapies to treat cancer patients worldwide and fulfill our mission to conquer cancer. The corporate headquarters is in San Mateo, California, U.S.

About Photoimmunotherapy (PIT)

Since 2013, Rakuten Medical has been developing new anticancer therapies based on the Photoimmunotherapy platform.

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 Medical is building R&D and Commercial capabilities by studying Photoimmunotherapy platform.

About ASP-1929 Photoimmunotherapy

ASP-1929, a conjugate of cetuximab and IRDye 700DX®, targets epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a cancer antigen expressed in multiple types of solid tumors, including head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, esophagus, lung, colon, pancreas and other cancers. This first-in-class therapy targets cancer cells, after which the compound is locally activated with red light using a proprietary investigational laser and fiber optics. The local activation of the tumor-selective conjugate targets the tumor but not surrounding normal tissues and structures. ASP-1929 received Fast Track designation by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC).

Interim results of a Phase 1/2 trial in patients with HNSCC showed a clinically meaningful improvement in the objective response rate, and potential improvements in progression free survival and overall survival when compared to historical data for the standard of care treatments currently available to this patient population. Top line results of the ASP-1929 Phase 1/2 trial are expected in the first quarter of 2019.

ASP-1929 is an investigational compound that is not approved for any use in any country.

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 Medical 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 Medical'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 Medical 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 Medical

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
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