A new biopharma firm in Amsterdam

Japanese biotech firm Rakuten Medical is opening its European headquarters in Amsterdam. The company develops precision-targeted cancer therapies based on its proprietary photoimmunotherapy (PIT) platform. The new Dutch office will help develop the company's trading capabilities and reputation in Europe.

It’s understood that the firm’s decision to move to Amsterdam was in part due to the European Medicine Agency’s recent relocation to the capital, as well as its reputation as a world-leading life sciences and health hub. Rakuten’s move will help cement Amsterdam’s reputation as an attractive destination for international firms working in the sector and provide new jobs in the city region. In 2018, it was estimated that 1,200 new jobs were created as a result of the arrival of biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

A company founded to help fight cancer

Rakuten Medical is a subsidiary of Rakuten, a Japanese electronic commerce and internet company based in Tokyo. It was founded by Hiroshi Mikitani, who also acts as the chairman and CEO. Mikitani launched the firm after his father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012.

In a statement, he said: "Rakuten Medical is poised to become a fully integrated biotechnology company, and we are gearing up to build and commercialise a strong pipeline of anti-cancer therapies based on our proprietary photoimmunotherapy platform. Expanding our presence in Europe is critical for us to deliver upon our mission of conquering cancer and delivering safe and effective treatments that could transform and improve the lives of patients globally.” 

Read more business news from around Amsterdam.