What You Need to Know About Ideaya

Published: Jan 19, 2017

What You Need to Know About Ideaya Biosciences
January 9, 2017
By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

Ideaya Biosciences focuses on the discovery and development of personalized synthetic lethality therapeutics that target DNA damage and repair, and immune-oncology therapies that target the tumor microenvironment.

Synthetic lethality that targets DNA damage and repair pathways has become a reality with the approval of a PARP-inhibitor, olaparib (Lynparza), from AstraZeneca in BRCA deficient ovarian cancer. Ideaya plans to focus on novel synthetic lethal interactions for genetically defined patient populations, exploiting tumor susceptibilities along the way.

The company also plans to investigate the potential of modulating DNA repair to augment response to immunotherapy.

Company Leadership

Yujiro Hataco-founder and chief executive officer. Prior to co-founding Ideaya, Hata was 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 until its acquisition by Amgen in October 2013, he was vice president, corporate development and strategy at Onyx Pharmaceuticals .

Jeffrey Hagerco-founder and senior vice president, head of biology. Prior to Ideaya, Hager was vice president of biology at
Seragon Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Roche /Genentech for up to $1.7 billion. Before that, he was senior director at Aragon Pharmaceuticals , which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson for up to $1 billion.

Michael Dillonsenior vice president, head of drug discovery. Before joining Ideaya, Dillion was Global Discovery Chemistry head responsible for Oncology and New Therapeutic Modalities at
Novartis Institutes.

Company Financing
In June 2016, Morphic completed a Series A financing round worth $51.5 million. It was co-led by SR One and Pfizer Venture Investments, and joined by Omega Funds and AbbVie Ventures. Founding investors were Polaris Partners, TA Springer, Schrodinger, and ShangPharma Investment Group.

Ideaya launched in May 2016 with a $46 million Series A financing from 5AM Ventures, Canaan Partners, Celgene , WuXi Healthcare Ventures, Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research, and Alexandria Real Estate.

Market Competition
PARPi is a new class of drugs that has caught pharma’s attention. So far, only AstraZeneca (AZN) has a PARPi on the market, Lynparza, for BRCA-positive advanced ovarian cancer. Others competitors include Tesaro's niraparib, AbbVie's veliparib, Clovis Oncology's rucaparib, and (MDVN)’s Medivation (now Pfizer's ) talazoparib.

So far, most PARPi drugs are being tested in different types of cancers or populations. So it’s hard to compare the various drugs or for anyone to determine which ones are “best in class,” if any of them are.

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