Kubota Pharmaceutical, a clinical-stage ophthalmology company committed to translating innovation into a diverse portfolio of drugs and devices to preserve and restore vision for millions of people worldwide, and SBI Holdings, Inc. (SBI), a financial services and asset management company based in Japan, announced the signing of a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) to establish a joint venture that will organize and manage special purpose entities to finance the development of ophthalmic drugs and devices. The LOI contemplates that the joint venture will be funded 51% by Kubota Pharma and 49% by SBI. Kubota Pharma and SBI have entered negotiations for a definitive joint venture agreement.
Concurrent with the negotiation of the definitive joint venture agreement, the parties intend to negotiate a separate definitive agreement to establish and fund the joint venture’s first special purpose entity, which is expected to be focused on mobile healthcare (mHealth) applications in the field of ophthalmology. mHealth refers to the usage of mobile communications technology and devices to enhance access to healthcare information, improve distribution of routine and emergency health services, and provide diagnostic services. In addition, through this first special purpose entity, Kubota Pharma will explore potential development and commercialization synergies between the mHealth platform and its drug product candidates already in development.
Kubota Pharma’s mission to eradicate blindness through the development of ophthalmic drugs and devices, and SBI’s business focus in the medical and pharmaceuticals arena, contributed to collaborative discussions which led to the signing of the LOI to form the joint venture to develop ophthalmic drugs and devices. This joint venture enables Kubota Pharma to potentially expand its development pipeline and capabilities to further its mission.