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James Leahy, Ph.D.

Principal for Drug Discovery & Medicinal Chemistry

James Leahy, Ph.D.


Asha's Drug Discovery Program is lead by Dr. James Leahy, credited with 3 FDA approved cancer drugs in the USA and 1 Japanese FDA approved drug in Japan for Hypertension with Daiichi Sankyo.


  • Co-inventor of the FDA approved drug Cabozantinib™, marketed worldwide as Cabometyx™, Cometriq™, Cobimetinib™ and Minnebro™, approved by the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) of Japan.


  • Director of Chemistry at MetaXen, bought by Exelixis, and where he subsequently served as the Senior Director of Chemistry. 


  • Advanced more than a dozen compounds into human clinical trials.


  • Named inventor on 22 issued US patents and well as multiple international patents.


  • Authored over 45 primary research publications.


  • 3 of the drugs to which he contributed while at Exelixis are FDA approved cancer drugs with sales of over $1.0B annually.


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