Yoda Pharmaceuticals Inc. is an innovative drug development company specializing in using state-of-the-art AI technology to develop novel compounds in new drugs for unmet medical needs in neuropsychological and neurological diseases. Founded in 2019 by a team of experienced psychiatrists and scientists who deeply care about the well being of their patients, the company is dedicated to develop a novel NMDA modulator for treating multiple system atrophy, Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia to better the lives of patients and their families !
YA-101, our lead product candidate, is a NCE and dual NMDA and NLRP3 inflammasome modulator for treating negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia, early AD, and alleviating ataxia-related motor deficits in multiple systems atrophy (MSA). YA-101 is efficacious in pre-clinical animal models, have good preclinical safety profiles, and can potentially offer multi-symptomatic relief to schizophrenia patients by ameliorating negative and cognitive symptoms, and slowing the exacerbation of positive, general, and overall symptoms of schizophrenia. Treatment of MSA and ataxia is an unmet medical need as existing agents have shown no promising effect in relieving symptoms of ataxia and uncoordinated movements. Composition patents and method of use patents covering multiple indications for YA-101 have been received in 13 countries. Pre-IND meeting with US FDA has been completed and YA-101 received US FDA orphan drug designation (ODD) for MSA in 2022. Until now, CMC manufacturing of API for phase I is done, and the IND-enabling studies is completed. The phase I study will be initiated in later 2023.
Founders & Executive Management Team
Charles Lin, Chairman (Representative)
Mr. Lin received his BS from Department of Pharmacy of Taiwan University and has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. As Chairman of Lotus, he successfully led Lotus be listed at OTC market and transformed into an international pharma. Withing many years of experience in pharmaceutical R & D, innovation and marketing, perspective international outlook and familiarity with corporate governance concepts, he founded Alar Pharmaceuticals Inc. in 2016 and listed on Taipei Exchange Market in Taiwan in 2020.
Yufeng Jane Tseng, Ph.D. Co-Founder and Chief Executive Advisor (Expected in August)
Dr. Tseng is the Chief PI of the team. With over 20 years of experience in drug development and highly recognized in the field, Dr. Tseng is in charge of overseeing the entire drug development process at Yoda Pharmaceuticals Inc., from discovery to preclinical and clinical phases, patent application, IND preparation, and computational and PK analyses.
Dr. Tseng is the Chairman of the Asia SPARK Regional Committee, and the Director of SPARK Taiwan. She is also the Director of National Taiwan University's Drug Research Center, Professor at the Graduate Institute of Biomedical Electronics, Bioinformatics, Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, School of Pharmacy for the school. Prior to joining National Taiwan University, Dr. Tseng worked as a Drug Discovery Consultant for 10+ years, with clients including Merck, GSK, Novartis, P&G, Avon, and Dow Chemicals. She also worked at the US National Institute of Health Roadmap HTS Drug Screening Center when she was a research fellow at the National Institute of Health. Dr. Tseng has authored multiple commercial molecular modeling software and online tool kits for drug development.
Hai-Gwo Hwu, M.D. Co-Founder
Dr. Hwu is a physician with 45+ years of clinical experience in schizophrenia research and treatment, with special focuses in psychopathology, science of mental health, psychiatric genetics, and community psychiatry. Dr. Hwu currently serves as the president of Mental Health Foundation in Taiwan and dedicates his time to multidimensional psychopathology research in schizophrenia and promoting Taiwan's Mental Health Movement, which is an integration of brain science and culture. He is also the Professor Emeritus of Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, and Graduate Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Public Health at National Taiwan University and a Staff Psychiatrist at National Taiwan University Hospital and Far Eastern Polyclinic.
Chih-Min Liu, M.D./ Ph.D. Co-Founder
Dr. Liu is highly experienced in conducting clinical trials. He plays a critical role in advancing YA-101 novel NMDA modulator towards clinical trials.
Wen-Sung Lai, Ph.D. Co-Founder
Dr. Lai is an expert in CNS disease related animal modeling, and has extensive experience working with pharmaceutical companies in the development of CNS drugs.
Yu-Li Liu, Ph.D. Co-Founder
Dr. Liu is an expert in genomics studies of schizophrenia and plays an integral part in identifying promising drug candidates for schizophrenia treatment in vitro and in vivo.
Chung-Ming Sun, Ph.D. Co-Founder
Dr. Sun is a synthetic chemist whose expertise has led to many novel chemical patents in the past 10 years.
Po-Shun Lee, M.D. Clinical Advisor
Dr. Lee has over 25 years of experience as Founding Scientist, Medical Director, CMO, VP, and Consultant in the bio-pharmaceutical industry. He is a physician at Tufts Medical Center, and an advisor to the Board at Nephroceuticals, Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc., and BioAegis Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Lee previously served as Senior Vice President and CMO at Proteostasis and Translational Medicine Expert at the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research from 2013 to 2014. From 2010 to 2013, Dr. Lee served as the Associate Medical Director at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated where he supported the clinical development and registration of Kalydeco® and led a CFTR corrector program to positive proof-of-concept. Dr. Lee served as a physician-scientist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School from 2005 to 2010. He has a B.A. in Biology from Johns Hopkins University and a M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Yoda Pharmaceuticals Inc. is grateful to be working with a team of entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley and Boston. As scientific advisors, they all have over 20 years of broad experience in drug development and manufacturing from research to commercialization.