About Us

Who we are

H3 Biomedicine is a leading company in cancer genomics based drug discovery, delivering on the promise of precision medicine. The company was launched in 2011 with an unprecedented $200 million funding commitment from Eisai plus additional funding for clinical programs. As a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, we uniquely leverage our distinct insights from cancer genomics and real-life patient data to advance our projects to clinical proof of concept and beyond. H3 embraces a novel business model in which it collaborates with Eisai, a leading global pharmaceutical company to create a prolific drug discovery engine and partnership platform.

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Leadership

Terushige Iike, M.B.A.

Chief Executive Officer

Terushige Iike, M.B.A.

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Terushige Iike is Chief Executive Officer of H3 Biomedicine, a role in which he is responsible for the overall business direction of the company. Mr. Iike also serves as president of the Oncology Business Group at Eisai Co., Ltd., overseeing the global end-to-end activities from discovery research and clinical development to brand commercialization and business development of Eisai’s global oncology business.

Mr. Iike began his career as a project manager in Eisai’s Drug Development Department in 1986. During his career at Eisai, Mr. Iike has held positions of increasing responsibility in both R&D and corporate strategy, including vice president of Corporate Strategy and president of the Japan/Asia Clinical Research of Eisai Product Creation Systems. In October 2014, he was named chief product creation officer, responsible for Eisai’s global research and drug development. He was named a senior vice president of Eisai in June 2015, and to his current position of president of the Oncology Business Group in April 2016. He became CEO of H3 in May 2018.

Mr. Iike received his Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School in 1996. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Tokyo in 1986.

Lihua Yu, Ph.D.

President and Chief Data Science Officer

Lihua Yu, Ph.D.

President and Chief Data Science Officer

Lihua Yu, Ph.D. is President and Chief Data Sciences Officer of H3 Biomedicine. In this role, she is responsible for the overall scientific and business direction of H3. Dr. Yu joined H3 in 2011 and most recently held the position of Chief Data Sciences Officer. An accomplished leader in the biopharmaceutical industry, Dr. Yu has spent more than 17 years in computational biology and bioinformatics and has deep experience in cancer genomics and predictive biomarkers. Her expertise and keen interest in innovatively addressing problems with computational means has enabled her to integrate the bioinformatics discipline into drug discovery and translational science continuums and has been instrumental in developing and advancing H3’s pipeline.

Before coming to H3, Dr. Yu spent 12 years with AstraZeneca’s research and development unit, helping to build and deliver the multinational pharmaceutical company’s oncology bioinformatics capabilities. During her time at AstraZeneca, she provided bioinformatics support to key areas of oncology drug discovery programs, including target identification and patient selection initiatives.

Dr. Yu received a B.E. in biomedical engineering and a B.E. in automation from Tsinghua University in Beijing. She earned a master of engineering from Tsinghua University and a Ph.D. from Boston University. Dr. Yu was a two-time recipient of the AstraZeneca Global Scientific and Technical Achievement Award and is an active member of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Yutaka Ishizaka, J.D.

Chief Operating Officer

Yutaka Ishizaka, J.D.

Chief Operating Officer

Yutaka “Ish” Ishizaka serves as H3 Biomedicine’s Chief Operating Officer and provides leadership in all aspects of the company’s business, including legal, finance, business development, communications and operations. Previously, Mr. Ishizaka was Vice President of Eisai Inc.’s largest US-based R&D site in Andover, MA and led business planning, operations and legal affairs. During his tenure, he guided the Andover group’s growth from a mid-sized research laboratory of 50 employees to its peak level of engagement of approximately 300 employees, and also led the development of a new $65 million research facility.

Mr. Ishizaka received his J.D. from Columbia University Law School and is a member of the New York and Massachusetts Bar Associations. He earned a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

Andrea Gerken, M.B.A.

Business Development

Andrea Gerken, M.B.A.

Business Development

Andrea Gerken leads the Business Development department at H3 Biomedicine, a position she has held since 2012. Under Ms. Gerken’s leadership H3 has established an open and collaborative environment which aligns best-in-class scientists and research, with H3’s capabilities and integrates this expertise, insight and resources into novel scientific partnerships. Ms. Gerken’s effort has led to the establishment of a host of strategic development partnerships with companies such as Selvita (2013) and Foundation Medicine (2015). Prior to joining H3, Ms. Gerken held the position of Manager of Research Operations in Ophthalmology and prior to that as Alliance Manager in the External Drug Discovery group at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR). At NIBR she was responsible for global alliances which delivered multiple clinical candidates to the NIBR pipeline.

Ms. Gerken began her career in the industry at Triad Therapeutics and GNF (The Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation) as a researcher in drug discovery biology. Ms. Gerken received her M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and her B.S. degrees in physics and mathematics from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.

Aijalon Pyrtel, M.S.

Human Resources

Aijalon Pyrtel, M.S.

Human Resources

Aijalon Pyrtel is an accomplished senior Human Resources professional with 15 years of experience within the biopharmaceutical industry in escalating management roles, supporting executives and managers on strategic and tactical HR issues. In her current position at H3 Biomedicine, she is responsible for leading HR business transformations, building organizational capabilities, and helping to shape the company’s performance culture. Prior to joining H3, Ms. Pyrtel held the position of Human Resources Director, Oncology Translational Medicine unit of Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA. Within this capacity Ms. Pyrtel provided HR guidance to the Leadership team and Business Partner support to global employee population of 400+ associates; while also disseminating advice and coaching on employee relations issues, salary planning, and retention strategies, and leading the performance management, annual compensation planning and employee development processes for this business division. Ms. Pyrtel also served in senior HR management position at Merck & Co., Inc.; including Change Manager, HR Operations and Integration, Senior Human Resources Business Partner, Merck Research Laboratories, Human Resources Business Partner, HR Leadership Program, and Compensation Analyst, Merck Manufacturing Division, HR Leadership Program.

Ms. Pyrtel received a Masters of Labor Relations from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Illinois State University.

Ping Zhu, Ph.D.

Discovery Research

Ping Zhu

Ping Zhu, Ph.D.

Discovery Research

Ping Zhu, Ph.D., B.M., joined H3 Biomedicine in March 2012 and has held positions of increasing scientific and management responsibility. Dr. Zhu is currently Head of Discovery Research at H3 and an executive leadership team member. He has more than 15 years of experience in cancer research and drug discovery. At H3, his group aims to discover next-generation anti-cancer medicines by targeting highly validated molecular targets based upon multiple-dimensional cancer information, e.g. genomics, transcriptomics and functional data, using systematic approaches. Dr. Zhu’s recent research interests include drug targets relevant to lineage, cell state, and immunomodulation; molecular mechanisms of drug resistance; and mechanisms of action of novel small molecules and other drug modalities.

Prior to joining H3, Dr. Zhu was a group leader at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where he did significant work with early drug discovery and target identification and validation in oncology, leading multidisciplinary teams across multiple geographic locations. In 2010, he earned the Novartis Catalyst Award for cancer drug discovery innovation.

Dr. Zhu received his Medical Degree (B.M.) from Shanghai Second Medical University in China and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany. He then finished his postdoctoral training with Michael G. Rosenfeld, M.D. at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of California San Diego. Dr. Zhu’s previous work focused on transcriptional and epigenetic regulation in cancer. His research has been published in leading scientific journals including Cell, Nature, Cancer Discovery, Cancer Cell and Nature Communications. Dr. Zhu was also a recipient of the Endocrine Scholars Award from the Endocrine Society for his scientific achievements.

Joanne Schindler, M.D.

Clinical Development

Joanne Schindler, M.D.

Clinical Development

Joanne Schindler, M.D., D.V.M., serves as Vice President, Clinical Development and Executive Medical Director with H3 Biomedicine. In this role, she is responsible for strategic leadership of H3’s clinical team, contributing medical and drug development expertise in the design of clinical development strategies and ensuring alignment with organizational goals. Dr. Schindler oversees development and execution of clinical research programs including the design, conduct, monitoring, interpretation of data, monitoring, and reporting of clinical trials.

Dr. Schindler brings over eighteen years of experience in oncology-focused research programs to her role at H3, including the development of antibody-drug conjugates, bispecific antibodies, molecularly-targeted small molecules, complex carbohydrates, antisense, and heavy metal drug candidates. She has been a key contributor to numerous Phase 1, 2 and pivotal studies in a variety of oncological indications including advanced solid tumors, liver, lung, breast, prostate, pancreas, lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma. Her drug development expertise includes regulatory and clinical development strategy, business plans, program management and oversight of clinical and preclinical research.

Prior to joining H3, Dr. Schindler was Clinical Program Lead – Hematology Oncology with Agios Pharmaceuticals. Previously, she held clinical development leadership roles with several companies including Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc., SynDevRx, Inc., ImmunoGen, Inc., Novartis, Fresenius Biotech, GlycoGenesys, Inc. and CareStat, Inc.

Dr. Schindler earned a B.A. from Brandeis University. She earned a D.V.M. from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and, subsequently, and M.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Dr. Schindler completed her post-doctoral training at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology.

Ross Pettit, M.B.A.

Clinical Development Operations

Ross Pettit, M.B.A.

Clinical Development Operations

Ross Pettit, M.B.A., serves as H3 Biomedicine’s Vice President Clinical Development Operations and, in this role, provides leadership to the Clinical Operations team in the planning and execution of H3’s clinical development portfolio.

Mr. Pettit has held development operations leadership positions in Europe and the US with multiple life sciences companies including Beigene, Parexel, Otsuka, Serono, and ARIAD, as well as a number of emerging biotechnology companies in the Boston/Cambridge area. Over the course of his career, he has been responsible for the building of highly successful teams and has led development for numerous global clinical trial programs.

Mr. Pettit has been involved in multiple new drug application (NDA) and biologics license application (BLA) submissions to regulatory authorities worldwide. He has spent many years focusing on the development of operational infrastructure and clinical trial execution with particular emphasis on outsourcing relationships in the industry.

Mr. Pettit earned an M.B.A. in HealthCare Management from University of Phoenix and a BSc (Hons) from the University of Kingston, London.

Takeshi Hamano, Ph.D.

Scientific Operations

Takeshi Hamano, Ph.D.

Scientific Operations

Takeshi Hamano, Ph.D., M.B.A. leads the team of Scientific Operations at H3 Biomedicine. In this role, he is responsible for the management of the entire program portfolio of the company, ranging from discovery to the clinic. Dr. Hamano’s group provides program management support as well as strategic support of H3’s programs and platforms. Dr. Hamano was one of the founding members of H3 in 2011 and contributed to the creation and build-out of key corporate elements and functions.

Dr. Hamano began his professional career as a research scientist in drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics at Eisai and contributed to two investigational new drug (IND) filings attained by the team during his tenure. Dr. Hamano transitioned into the R&D management after completing an M.B.A.,and held positions with increasing management responsibility. Prior to joining H3, Dr. Hamano served as Senior Director of Portfolio Management for Eisai’s Oncology Business Group. In this role, he was responsible for the management of Eisai’s oncology portfolio and led the portfolio optimization and program prioritization.

Dr. Hamano received his Ph.D. in 1998 and earned his B.A. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1993 both from the University of Tokyo. He received his M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in 2008.

Business Development

H3 Biomedicine continues to build and grow its preclinical and clinical portfolio. We are actively engaged in partnering and business development with a goal to advance and build its pipeline through continued collaboration with Eisai as well as with additional partners that can strengthen H3’s ability to quickly deliver novel precision cancer therapies to patients.

H3 is creating novel cancer therapies that will have the potential to impact the disease state and quality of life for those patients who are living with cancer. Our scientists are dedicated to designing a group of best-in-class cancer therapeutics with broad therapeutic potential. In order to accomplish this goal, we are actively seeking partners to advance and expand the H3 pipeline.

H3 has created a culture of “open and innovative collaboration,” which brings together the best scientists, groups and companies and harnesses their expertise, insights and resources through novel working relationships and alliances. In the short time since its inception in 2011, H3 has entered into collaborative relationships with:

In February 2015, Foundation Medicine, Inc. (NASDAQ:FMI) and H3 Biomedicine Inc. announced a multi-year collaboration for the discovery and development of precision medicines in oncology. The collaboration marries Foundation Medicine’s comprehensive genomic knowledgebase of more than 40,000 genomic profiles, FoundationCORE™, with H3 Biomedicine’s drug discovery engine and computational biology platform. The approach aims to identify potential drug targets based on the unique genomic dependencies of individual cancers, rapidly accelerate clinical development, and lead to the commercialization of new, safe and effective precision medicines for individuals living with cancer.
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In the Community

At H3 Biomedicine, we are fortunate to be part of an extraordinary community that universally incorporates the ethic of giving back. It’s not just a philosophy in words, but all of us at H3 feel compelled to actively participate and support by donating our time and resources. As part of its commitment to social responsibility, H3 stresses the importance of community support by making contributions in a variety of ways. H3’s commitment to supporting community service provides its employees with a unique opportunity to give back to the community where they work. H3 makes a difference through its support of local in and around Greater Boston. Supporting programs like the Pan Mass Challenge, Making Strides, and Light the Night.

Light The Night Walk

Pan-Mass Challenge

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Group in pink clothing sponsored by H3
Group of bicyclists in matching green uniforms