TOKYO, TANAKA Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director & CEO: Koichiro Tanaka), which is a subsidiary of TANAKA Holdings Co., Ltd. and operates the TANAKA Precious Metals manufacturing business, announced today that TANAKA made an equity contribution to Ambix Life Science Fund I, L.P., a medical device venture fund managed by Ambix Venture Management, LLC, a U.S.-based venture capital management company (“Ambix Ventures”).
Through this equity contribution, TANAKA will reinforce its overseas business development in addition to its domestic business development and contribute to the development of a safe and secure healthcare industry.
Background to and Objectives of the Contribution
TANAKA provides precious metal components and materials to medical device manufacturers and participates in development projects, cooperating with and contributing to development in the healthcare field. In addition, the company has made equity contributions to multiple medical device venture funds in the past and made the decision at this time to make a contribution to the venture fund of Ambix Ventures, which is based in Silicon Valley, one of the centers of medical device innovation, in order to provide even greater support to the development of the healthcare industry. TANAKA seeks to strengthen its ties with the U.S. healthcare industry and contribute to the progress of cutting-edge healthcare through the use of precious metal components and materials in the healthcare field by making an equity contribution to the fund, which is managed by Aaron Berez, MD, a leading entrepreneur in the healthcare industry, and Peter N. Townshend.
Dr. Berez, a Manager of Ambix Ventures, made the following comment regarding the equity contribution: “The world has changed with the advent of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. However, it has also underscored the importance of the global healthcare infrastructure and challenges. We at Ambix are excited to be a small part of this ongoing challenge, in our case the continuing mission to make healthcare more efficient. We welcome TANAKA’s participation as part of the Ambix team.”
TANAKA’s Current Initiatives in the Healthcare Field
TANAKA is a precious metals professional organization with multiple products that boast top-level shares of global markets including bonding wires and fuel cell catalysts. The Group provides stable supplies of precious metals, which are valuable resources, using a recycling-oriented business from procurement to product development and recycling. TANAKA has long focused on the healthcare field as an area that can contribute to society while making use of the properties of precious metals. The company performs contract manufacturing of in-vitro diagnostic kits that use gold colloids and supplies precious metal components and materials to domestic and overseas medical device manufacturers.
Precious metal parts and materials that use platinum, gold, and other metals are used in many devices for treatment within blood vessels including balloon catheters, guidewire embolization coils, and stents. Precious metals including platinum and gold have biocompatibility and high specific gravity compared to other metals, which makes them highly opaque to X-rays. As a result, when inserting balloon catheters or other medical devices into blood vessels, the treatment can be performed while confirming the location of the device within the blood vessel by viewing the precious metal portion, offering an advantage over other metals.
About Ambix Life Science Fund and Aaron Berez, MD
Ambix Life Science Fund I, L.P. is a medical device venture fund managed by Ambix Venture Management, LLC, a U.S.-based venture capital management company. Operations began in May 2020.
Aaron Berez, MD, one of two managers of Ambix Venture Management, is the founder and CEO of Alembic LLC and a representative serial entrepreneur in the cerebral endovascular treatment field. He is known for development of the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED), the first FDA approved flow diverter at Chestnut Medical Technologies, Inc. Other medical device companies he has worked with include Cathera, SMaRT Therapeutics, Inc., Endovasix, C2 Therapeutics, and Sapheon.
Peter Townshend, the other manager of Ambix Venture Management, is a lawyer, business advisor and leading authority on startups, angel and venture capital, commercial transactions and mergers and acquisitions. Peter has been advising life science startups since 1996. He launched Townshend Venture Advisors, LLP in 2017 after a long career as a senior partner for various technology law firms in Silicon Valley and San Diego, most recently Perkins Coie LLP. Peter’s career has included working with a number of life science companies, including Atrionix (acquired by Johnson & Johnson), Appriva Medical (acquired by ev3), Adeza Biomedical (IPO), Abunda Nutrition (acquired by Evolva), MitraLife (acquired by ev3), Chestnut Medical (acquired by ev3), ConforMIS (IPO), Cathera (acquired by Medtronic), Companion Medical (acquired by Medtronic) and existing startups Avails, ThrombX Medical, Alembic and all of Alembic’s portfolio companies including Palmera, and acting as lead investor counsel for the Alembic Syndicate’s investment in ABK. Peter has assisted his clients in raising more than $2 billion in private and public financing.
Overview of Ambix Life Science Fund I, L.P.
Fund name: Ambix Life Science Fund I, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership
Established: May 2020
The fund is a relatively new fund based around a long-standing syndicate of medical device investors. The fund was established to contribute to the global development of cutting-edge healthcare by investing in medical and healthcare startups.