- Series A investors include 5AM Ventures, Canaan Partners, Celgene, WuXi Healthcare Ventures, Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research, and Alexandria Real Estate
- Small molecule programs with focus on synthetic lethality and immuno-oncology
- Scientific advisors include Nobel Laureate and three Members of the National Academy
- Executive team formerly leaders at Flexus (Bristol Myers Squibb), FLX Bio, Seragon (Genentech), Onyx (Amgen), Aragon (JnJ), Novartis, and Roche
IDEAYA Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of personalized synthetic lethality medicines targeting DNA damage and repair and immuno-oncology therapies targeting the tumor microenvironment, announced today the closing of a $46 million Series A financing from 5AM Ventures (5AM), Canaan Partners (Canaan), Celgene, WuXi Healthcare Ventures (WuXi), Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research, and Alexandria Real Estate. IDEAYA has assembled a world-class drug discovery team and Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) that is represented by a Nobel Laureate and three Members of the National Academy of Sciences.
Synthetic lethality targeting DNA damage and repair pathways, a longstanding concept in genetic models systems and cancer biology, has recently become a therapeutic reality with the approval of a PARP-inhibitor, olaparib, in BRCA deficient ovarian cancer. IDEAYA will focus on novel synthetic lethal interactions for genetically defined patient populations, exploiting inherent tumor susceptibilities en-route to discovery and development of small-molecule agents to treat major human cancers. Another area of focus for IDEAYA will be to exploit the potential of modulating DNA repair to augment response to immunotherapy. In addition, drug discovery programs will target pathways known to produce an immune suppressed tumor microenvironment, enabling tumors to escape recognition by the host immune system. The company is led by industry veterans Yujiro S. Hata, M.B.A, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer; Jeffrey Hager, Ph.D., co-founder and Senior Vice President and Head of Biology; and Michael Dillon, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Drug Discovery.
Coincident with the close of the Series A financing, Tim Shannon, M.D., General Partner at Canaan, joined the Company’s Board of Directors, and Robert Hershberg, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Celgene, and Edward Hu, M.B.A., Founding Partner at WuXi Healthcare Ventures, joined as Board Observers, which includes John Diekman, Ph.D., Chairman and Founding Partner at 5AM, Terry Rosen, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer at Arcus Biosciences, Jeff Stein, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer at Cidara Therapeutics, and Board Observer, Hannah Chang, M.D., Ph.D., Associate at 5AM.
“We are delighted by the experienced Series A syndicate that includes both venture capital and strategic investors deeply committed to bringing new oncology therapies to patients,” said John Diekman, Chairman of the IDEAYA Board of Directors.
“The company is now capitalized to advance its research programs in synthetic lethality and immuno-oncology to clinical candidate selection and the clinic,” said Yujiro Hata, Chief Executive Officer of IDEAYA. IDEAYA was incubated by 5AM Ventures with a seed investment prior to its Series A financing.
IDEAYA also announced today that it has assembled a Scientific Advisory Board that includes luminaries in the fields of DNA damage and repair, synthetic lethality, immunology, and drug discovery and development including Alan D’Andrea, M.D. (Dana Farber), John Petrini, Ph.D. (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), Trey Ideker, Ph.D. (University of California, San Diego), Stephen Kowalczykowski, Ph.D. (University California, Davis, Member of the National Academy), Elizabeth Swisher, M.D. (University of Washington), Bruce Beutler, Ph.D. (UT Southwestern, Nobel Laureate and Member of the National Academy), Christopher Goodnow (Garvin Institute, Member of the National Academy), Richard Ulevitch, Ph.D. (Scripps Research Institute), Paul Reider, Ph.D. (Princeton University), and Laura Shawver, Ph.D. (Cleave Biosciences).
IDEAYA is an oncology-focused biotechnology company committed to the discovery of breakthrough synthetic lethality medicines targeting DNA damage and repair for genetically defined patient populations and for enhancing immunotherapy response, and immuno-oncology therapies targeting the tumor micro-environment. IDEAYA, located in South San Francisco and La Jolla, California, has assembled leading scientists and advisors with extensive knowledge and expertise in cancer biology and small molecule drug discovery.