Dr. Takashi Owa currently serves as the President and the Chief Discovery Officer of Eisai Oncology Business Group as well as a member of Board of Directors for Eisai Inc. and a Chairman and CEO for H3 Biomedicine Inc. in the United States. In this role, he is responsible for leading the worldwide R&D operations of Eisai Oncology. Since October 2021, he has also served as a Corporate Officer, a Senior Vice President and the Head of Japan & Asia Medical HQs of Eisai Co., Ltd. in Japan. Dr. Owa joined Eisai as a research scientist in the Oncology Department of Tsukuba Research Laboratories in 1991. Over the years, he has assumed positions of increasing responsibility within R&D operations. Since his relocation to the United States in 2009, He has been in charge of the full product creation cycle from discovery research to clinical development for regulatory approval of innovative oncology drugs in Eisai, including anticancer sulfonamides E7070/indisulam and E7820 as selective protein degraders of the splicing factor CAPER/RBM39, the splicing factor SF3B modulator E7107 as well as two approved drugs Halaven/eribulin (microtubule dynamics inhibitor) and Lenvima/lenvatinib (VEGFR/FGFR/PDGFR/RET/KIT tyrosine kinase inhibitor). He has also been engaged in several open innovation projects, including research and development of the EZH2 inhibitor Tazverik/tazemetostat and the CBP/β-catenin interaction inhibitor E7386 in collaboration with Epizyme and PRISM BioLab, respectively.
Dr. Owa received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology from the University of Tokyo, with particular focus on chemistry and biology of naturally-occurring and man-designed bleomycins. In addition, he studied as a two-year, post-doctoral visiting scientist at Professor Stuart Schreiber’s laboratory in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, where he focused on chemical biology with histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors as well as the anticancer marine product ecteinascidin 743 (Yondelis/trabectedin) and its synthetic analog phthalascidin 650. Dr. Owa was honored by the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan Division of Medicinal Chemistry, Gilda’s Club New York City and CancerCare with three major awards for his work.