Mar 27, 2022

Aculys Pharma Closes US$24 Million Series B Financing

Aculys Pharma, Inc. (“Aculys Pharma” Headquarters: Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Representative Director and CEO: Kazunari Tsunaba), a new biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of new innovative drugs in the fields of neurology and psychiatry, today announced that it has raised a total of US$24 million in Series B Round with participation by JIC Venture Growth Investments, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Spiral Capital as new investors. Existing investors Vision Pacific LifeSciences Capital I, II (DE) LLC1, HBM Healthcare Investments, Global Founders Capital, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Investment, and ANRI also participated in the round. As a result of this capital increase, the cumulative amount raised by the company has reached US$84 million.

Kazunari Tsunaba, Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Representative Director of Aculys said, “Advances in medical care, including new anti-epileptic drugs, have enabled many epilepsy patients and caregivers to lead their daily lives without seizures.2, 3 However, despite proper diagnosis and treatment, there are still patients and their caregivers suffering from recurrent epileptic seizures, and there is still a need for immediate treatment when a seizure emergency occurs outside the medical institution. Beyond seizure control, we believe that we have a lot of work to do such as eliminating misunderstandings and prejudices about epilepsy and seizures, and strengthening social support. We are deeply grateful to all domestic and overseas investors for their support of our aspiration to create a society where patients and their caregivers can live without fear and anxiety.”

In addition to ongoing development and commercialization of pitolisant for the treatment of sleep disorders, Aculys Pharma will use the funds raised in this Series B round for clinical development and commercial activities for launching the first nasal spray formulation of diazepam in Japan for epileptic seizure emergencies. We will conduct clinical trials in Japan and develop this innovative medicine so that patients who can benefit from this new treatment have access to it as soon as possible. At the same time, we will invest in comprehensive initiatives to reduce the impact of epileptic seizures on the daily lives of patients and their families by facilitating the creation of a community that provides quick access to therapeutic drugs, in the event of a sudden seizure, and through collaboration with external partners to conduct studies to develop a system which enables the prediction of seizures using AI and digital tools. We will also promote educational activities to improve public understanding of epilepsy in our society.

Beyond the development and commercialization of new medicines, Aculys is committed to the patient experience, including the awareness, screening, diagnosis, personalized treatment and resolution of surrounding social issues for patients and their families confronted with neurological and psychiatric disease. The company looks to form comprehensive solutions through cross-sectional partnerships using new technologies to enhance the patient experience.

1 Joint ventures co-owned by Catalys Pacific and SoftBank Vision Fund 22 World Health Organization Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

About nasal spray (active ingredient: diazepam)

Diazepam has been used as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of epileptic seizure as an injectable for more than 60 years in Japan. It also has a history as a suppository for use by non-medical personnel such as patients and caregivers, outside of medical institutions. In 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Neurelis’ VALTOCO® (diazepam nasal spray) as an acute treatment for intermittent, stereotypic episodes of frequent seizure activity (i.e., seizure clusters, acute repetitive seizures) that are distinct from an individual’s usual seizure pattern in adult and pediatric patients 6 years of age and older.

About Aculys Pharma, Inc.

Aculys Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovations in the fields of neurology and psychiatry. Its corporate name was created from the philosophy of “Catalyst to Access.” Aimed to act as a bridge for innovative medical care in the field of neuropsychiatry, Aculys develops and commercializes novel pharmaceuticals and provides innovations for better medical care to patients, their families, healthcare professionals, and society.


Company name: Aculys Pharma, Inc.
Address: 26-1, Muraoka-Higashi 2-chome, Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan
Representative: Kazunari Tsunaba
Established: Jan 2021


Information concerning pharmaceutical product (compound under development) contained herein is not intended as advertising or as medical advice, but intended for disclosure of management information.