Tadataka Yamada is a pioneer in the development of drugs and vaccines. He helped establish numerous biotechnology companies and served as the Global Health Leader for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for 6 years. He was at home in Seattle on Wednesday morning. Passed away from natural causes. He is 76 years old.
Endpoint news Confirmed Yamada’s death with Frazier Healthcare Partners, a Seattle venture capital firm, with Yamada (known as “Tachi”) as a partner.
Yamada was born in Japan, studied at a boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts, then studied at Stanford University and received a doctorate in medicine from New York University. During his tenure as dean of the University of Michigan Department of Medicine, he was recruited to the company that would later become GlaxoSmithKline and was promoted to director of research and development. There he is known for simplifying drug development and doubling the number of compounds in GlaxoSmithKline’s pipeline.
In 2000, GlaxoSmithKline sued Nelson Mandela and the South African government over the pricing of HIV drugs. This shocked and embarrassed Yamada and prompted him to set up the GlaxoSmithKline department to focus on neglected diseases.
“I propose to set up a laboratory that focuses on malaria and tuberculosis, making drugs without worrying about whether we make money,” he told the Journal of Clinical Investigation In an interview in 2012The Gates Foundation funded most of the work.
From 2006 to 2011, Yamada led the Seattle-based Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program, which managed US$9 billion to address health challenges in developing countries. After he left, he became Chief Medical and Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Takeda Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Tokyo.
“When I left Japan and came to the United States at the age of 15, I promised my father that one day I would return to Japan,” he told JCI. “I think what I learned at the foundation-about urgency, innovation, measurement and cooperation-these things will help the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, I believe that the pharmaceutical industry is the most important industry in the world.”
Recently, as a partner of Frazier, Yamada co-founded a series of companies, including Phathom Pharmaceuticals, Passage Bio, Scout Bio and Outpost Medicine.
His involvement with the Seattle company included serving as chairman of the board of Athira Pharma, a company headquartered in Bothell, Washington, which was recently embroiled in a dispute over image manipulation by its CEO. Yamada is also the chairman of the board of the vaccine company Icosavax, the University of Washington spin-off company he co-founded and went public last week. Yamada also serves as the chairman of the board of the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
On Thursday morning, people poured into nostalgia and mourning.
- Icosavax CEO Adam Simpson (Adam Simpson) said in a statement: “Tachi is a talented man, a doctor and scientist, and is deeply committed to public health.” statement“I will miss his friendship, his optimism and his dedication, and I know that the huge legacy he left has mitigated the loss to some extent.”
- “Dr. Tachi Yamada is an extraordinary scientist and leader. He uses his smart mind and kind and kind heart to improve the lives of millions of people. His work as chairman of the board of CHAI inspires us all to help more More people save more lives. We will miss him very much,” former President Bill Clinton said in a statement. tweet.
- “Tachi understands the many challenges that early-stage biotech companies often face when developing disruptive technologies, and always reminds us to consider how the treatments we are developing will affect patients and (broader) global health. As far as our life sciences industry is concerned In terms of “giant among giants”,” said Thong Q. Le, CEO and senior managing director of Seattle-based Accelerator Life Science Partners, which is an investment company and Yamada is a senior advisor to the company. And board members.
- “He is a special person, he will do something to help people. That is his North Star,” his son Kaohsiung Tell Timmerman Report.