Juran Kato-Suzuki, PhD
President and CEO Founder

After obtaining PhD in Molecular Biology from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Juran engaged in cancer research at UCLA as a post-doctoral fellow. During her post-doc career at UCLA, Juran received the B. G. Leventhal Scholars in Cancer Research Award for the promising female researcher. Afterwards, Juran joined Takeda, and received multiple awards for the discoveries in molecularly targeted medicine in oncology and in drug repurposing research. Juran is a strong believer of Public Private Partnership to resolve various issues in healthcare systems. During her career at Takeda, Juran participated in executive training at MIT Sloan School of Management, and tackled problems in Access to Medicine in developing countries through partnership with JICA, the Japan ODA-executing agency. Since then, Juran has devoted her life to challenge Access to Medicine. In 2018, Juran established GEXVal Inc. as a spin out from Takeda to deliver medicines to people who live with rare and intractable diseases.

Juran loves to travel and visit hot springs across the country.

Nobuaki Hirashima
Director, Chief Business Officer

Nobu has been in the pharmaceutical industry for over 30 years and developed various skills from R&D to business development. Nobu started his career as a scientist in the pharmaceutical division in Shiseido and contributed for a drug approval. Later Nobu joined Summit Pharmaceuticals International to support small to mid-size biotechs/pharmas and accelerated their business development. In SPI, Nobu also founded the drug development business unit and lead IND and clinical study operations. Nobu later joined the pharmaceutical division of JT, engaged in strategic planning of clinical development programs, market research, valuation and pricing. Nobu evaluated various R&D and business opportunities, led business development as well as M&A arrangements. Before joining Team GEXVal in 2021, Nobu also served as CEO for a biotech with platform technology.

Nobu loves mountain hiking and camping.

Nobuo Ito, MBA
External Director Senior Advisor, Finance

CEO, TenCube Inc. Joined GEXVal as a senior advisor in 2020.
Nobuo started his career in several financial institution, including Bank of Japan and eBank. As he runs several businesses himself, Nobuo currently serves as part-time CFO, audit and/or supervisory member of board to several venture companies. Nobuo has track record to successfully lead tech-based startups to IPO.

Nobuo loves to spend his time outside with his son during the weekend.

Makoto Shimasaki
External Director

Director, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital. Joined Team GEXVal in 2018.

Yunmi Kim, MSci
External Director

CEO, YK Venture Partners (Seoul, Korea). Joined Team GEXVal in 2021.

Katsuyuki Kobayashi, CPA
Accounting Supervisor

CEO, Akari Partners. Joined Team GEXVal as an accounting supervisor in 2019.

Kohei Shimada, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer, Research Unit

After finishing graduate school in U Tokyo, Kohei joined Daiichi-Sankyo and engaged in screening and discovery projects. While in Daiichi-Sankyo, Kohei engaged in basic research in City of Hope National Medical Center in California as a visiting scientist. Kohei developed extensive knowledge in different therapeutic areas including bone and joint disease, immuno-inflammation, fibrosis, and cell therapy, and led several discovery projects. Kohei later led a team for open innovation and contributed various external collaboration projects. Also served as a manager in Medical Affairs and contributed for publication strategy. Joined Team GEXVal in 2022.

Kohei loves to play Golf and visits different courses every month.

Takako Naito, RPh
Director, Research Unit  Co-Founder

Expert in discovery biology and pharmacology in broad therapeutic area, including infectious diseases, immunoinflammatory diseases, bone diseases, and fibrosis.  Takako spent her entire carrier in Takeda and developed skills not only in wet biology but also in bioinformatics and drug repositioning research. Takako proactively engaged in strategic planning to tackle rare diseases by winning internal grant. Takako is a co-founder of GEXVal, leading both pre-IND preparation of lead program as well as discovery program.

Takako loves to cook and travel, finding local foods at places she visits.

Mami Ojima
Research Fellow, Research Unit  Co-Founder

Expert in pharmacology in cardiovascular diseases. Mami spent her entire carrier in Takeda for over 35 years, devoted her life for the discovery of anti-hypertensive drugs. During her carrier in Takeda, Mami received multiple awards including presidential award, global award, research head award and many others for her contribution to successfully discover three anti-hypertensive drug products. Mami is a co-founder of GEXVal, leading cardiovascular programs and also served as the Chief Knowledge Officer during the startup phase.

Mami loves sports and great nature, and challenged Himalayan mountain-hike once.

Takashi Arima, PhD, RPh, QIA*
Head, Clinical Development Unit   QIA*: Qualified Internal Auditor

PhD in Pharmacology. Joined GEXVal leadership in 2021.
Takashi spent most of his carrier in the R&D division in Taiho Pharmaceutical. He started his carrier to discover drugs for neurological disorders. Takashi eventually got involved in strategic planning, and later switched his carrier to clinical development to become an expert in early phase global studies. Takashi led early phase development programs of anti-cancer drugs in Tahio Pharma USA Inc. After returning to Japan, Takashi worked in the product strategy and portfolio management in the executive office, and also engaged in venture management. Later in his carrier, Takashi served as an internal auditor for both R&D and corporate divisions. Takashi also contributed in IR management. More recently, Takashi moved to a biotech and contributed for a clinical development of an anti-cancer drug as a Vice President.

Takashi is a million-mile traveller, loves gardening and taking photos of flowers.

Yuko Kondo
Associate Director, Corporate Office Executive Secretary

Yuko developed her business skills in a consulting agency and assisted the launch of a Japanese subsidiary of an European beverage manufacturer. After successful launch, Yuko led this Japanese subsidiary, not only facilitated the promotion in Japan but also managed operations from procurement, logistics, and commercialization of the products. Yuko continued her carrier in tech startup and served as an executive secretary, while managing various assignments of venture business operations. Yuko Joined GEXVal Inc in 2021.

Yuko loves to travel and visited over 50 countries so far. We are not sure how many countries she is going to try in the future.

Kyoichi Tanoue
Associate Director, Corporate Office

Tano joined Team GEXVal in 2022 as an intern.
Tano serves in one of the leading financial institution in Japan as an expert in finance. Tano has been engaging in sales and marketing to explore corporate clients, marketing of derivatives, and research in foreign currency exchange. For his contributions, Tano has received various corporate awards. Also, Tano has developed leadership skills by leading a task force to improve operational efficiency together with a team of a hundred.

Tano recently started and exploring a whole new world of kickboxing.