Leadership


Yujiro S. Hata, Co-Founder and CEO

 

Yujiro is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience building companies that have delivered innovative therapies to patients.  He is a co-founder of IDEAYA Biosciences and since August 2015 has served as Chief Executive Officer.  From 2014 to August 2015, he served as Chief Operating Officer at Flexus Biosciences and FLX Bio, which he joined as a startup and led through its acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb in April 2015.  From 2010 through the approvals of Kyprolis™ and Stivarga™ and its acquisition by Amgen in October 2013, he was Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy at Onyx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ONXX), where he served as Head of Strategy and Strategic Asset Management, and Head of Transactions.  From 2002 to 2010, Yujiro served as Vice President, Senior Vice President, and Chief Business Officer at Enanta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ENTA), which he joined as a startup and helped build to a public company that discovered the protease inhibitors contained in HCV blockbuster VIEKIRA PAK and MAVYRET™.  He earlier served in roles at McKinsey, ImClone and Columbia Medical School.

 

Yujiro obtained his MBA at Wharton as a Henry J Kaiser recipient and did undergraduate studies at Oxford University and Colorado College.  He is an Executive-in-Residence at 5AM Ventures, a venture capital firm, and guest lecturer at UC Berkeley.  He serves on the Board of Directors at Xencor (NASDAQ: XNCR) and Expansion Therapeutics, and Board of Visitors at the UCSD Cancer Center.


Jeffrey Hager, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Senior Vice President, Head of Biology

 

Jeff brings over 20-years of experience in tumor biology, cancer pharmacology, & oncology discovery in both the academic and industrial sectors.  Since November 2015, he has served as co-founder and Senior Vice President and Head of Biology at IDEAYA Biosciences. Prior to IDEAYA, he was VP of Biology at Seragon Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Roche/Genentech for up to $1.7 billion, where he oversaw all in vitro and in vivo biology and pharmacology that lead to the discovery of 2 novel, clinical stage selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs) developed as treatment for hormone receptor positive breast cancer. Previously, Jeff was Senior Director at Aragon Pharmaceuticals which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson for up to $1 billion. At Aragon, on top of the discovery work that led to the SERD compounds and the Seragon spinout post J&J acquisition, his team also delivered the preclinical pharmacology package in support of clinical development for the novel anti-androgen ARN-509 which is now in two Phase III studies as well as discoveries into mechanisms of acquired resistance to the 2nd generation anti-androgens enzalutamide and ARN-509. Previously, he was Associate Director of Biology at Apoptos, Inc. and before that a Principal Scientist and Head of Cancer Pharmacology at Kalypsys, Inc.

 

He did graduate studies at both Princeton and University of California at Berkeley, the later from which he received a PhD in molecular and cell biology.  He was a postdoctoral fellow and staff scientist at the University of California at San Francisco and is an author of publications in Science, Nature Genetics, Cancer Cell, Cancer Research and Cancer Discovery.


Michael P. Dillon, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Head of Drug Discovery

 

Mike joined the IDEAYA Biosciences team as Senior Vice President, Head of Drug Discovery in April 2016 bringing over 20 years of drug discovery and medicinal chemistry experience. Mike joined from Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Cambridge MA, where he was Global Discovery Chemistry Head responsible for Oncology and New Therapeutic Modalities. Under Mike’s leadership several small molecule NME’s entered in to GLP toxicology that continue to advance towards the clinic. Prior to taking on New Therapeutic Modalities Mike was responsible for leading the discovery and development of new antibody drug conjugate (ADC) toxins and linkers targeted at new cancer indications and increased therapeutic index. Mike first joined Novartis in 2008 as Executive Director, Oncology Chemistry, and Head of Chemical Sciences in Emeryville CA. Encompassing Medicinal, Analytical, Structural and Computational chemistry, in addition to Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Chemical Sciences was responsible for the design, synthesis and profiling of potential Oncology medicines. Under his leadership the group advanced a number of key molecules; notably PI3K inhibitor BKM120, CSF1R inhibitor BLZ945, V600E mutant B-RAF kinase inhibitor LGX818, PIM kinase inhibitor PIM447, ERK inhibitor LTT462, and RAF kinase inhibitor LXH254. Prior to joining Novartis, Mike worked at Roche in Palo Alto CA where he held increasing levels of seniority focusing on the discovery and development of potential new medicines to treat pain, respiratory, inflammatory, CNS and viral diseases. He led a number of projects that advanced in to clinical development the most advanced of which, the first in class P2X3 antagonist AF219, is currently under development in Phase 2b by Afferent Pharmaceuticals. While at Roche, Mike also had global responsibility for building the Roche compound library and for managing the global outsourcing of discovery chemistry establishing a worldwide network of research partners to complement internal capabilities. Mike started his career at Syntex in Palo Alto CA shortly before their acquisition by Roche in 1994.

 

Mike obtained his BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Leicester and his PhD, focusing on understanding the biosynthesis and chemical synthesis of polyketide natural products, from the University of Bristol.  A native of the UK, he came to the US on a postdoctoral fellowship at Oregon State University to continue his research in the laboratories of Prof. James D. White, where he completed the first total synthesis of byssochlamic acid. Mike is an author on over 30 peer reviewed publications and an inventor on over 30 patents.  


Timothy J. Smith, Senior Vice President, Head of Corporate Development

 

Tim has more than 15 years of experience in the life sciences industry, consisting primarily of roles in equity research, investor relations, and business development. Tim joined IDEAYA from Cleave Biosciences, where he was chief business officer. Prior to Cleave, he was executive director, business development at Celgene Corporation. In this role, he led numerous M&A, in-licensing and strategic equity investment transactions, including the acquisition of Receptos, Inc. and the strategic collaboration with Jounce Therapeutics. Tim joined Celgene in 2009 as director, investor relations and subsequently led the business planning and analysis function. Prior to joining Celgene, he was director, investor relations at MGI PHARMA, Inc. He spent the majority of his early career in equity research covering the biotechnology sector at RBC Capital Markets, Lazard Capital Markets and Citi Research. He began his career as a research technician at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine.

 

 Tim holds a B.S. in biology from the University of Texas at Arlington, an M.B.A. in finance from Fordham University and an M.A. in biotechnology from Columbia University.