By CHUCK SODER, Crain’s Cleveland Business

Japan’s biggest pharmaceutical company plans to invest $25 million in BioMotiv, a Shaker Heights company that aims to commercialize all sorts of new drugs.

The five-year investment gives Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. the right to make the first offer on any therapies BioMotiv develops related to heart disease, diabetes and other so-called cardiometabolic conditions, as well as any disease involving inflammation and the immune system.

Takeda will buy a “significant” minority stake in BioMotiv, according to Baiju Shah, the Shaker Heights company’s CEO.

Getting an investment from a large pharmaceutical company lends credence to BioMotiv’s uncommon business model. The company licenses drugs from universities and research laboratories and then shepherds them through the early stages of drug development. Its goal is to get those drugs to the point where other investors and drug companies are willing to buy the technology and take it to the market.

“The Takeda partnership validates the model and in many ways completes the model,” Shah said.

BioMotiv is the for-profit arm of the Harrington Project for Discovery and Development. Launched by University Hospitals in 2012, the project includes a nonprofit branch that gives grants to scientists in the early stages of developing new drugs.

Including this investment, BioMotiv and the nonprofit Harrington Discovery Institute have raised well over $200 million. That amount includes a grant from the state of Ohio that the institute was awarded in June. That grant could be worth up to $25 million.

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