Richard Tanaka, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO


Prior to starting Azee Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Tanaka helped to start Genesoft Pharmaceuticals and held positions of Vice President of Preclinical Development (1998-2004) and Principal Investigator/Project leader for the SMAT research program (1999-2004) that was funded by DARPA and USAMRMC. From 1991-1997, Dr. Tanaka helped to start Arris Pharmaceuticals (later Axys Pharmaceuticals) where he held positions as Senior Director of Preclinical Development and Director of Molecular Pharmacology. At Arris, he was the project leader for the mast cell tryptase program that advanced the first human tryptase inhibitor into clinical trials and established clinical proof of concept for this new class of drugs. From 1986 to 1991, he worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb (Princeton, NJ) as the Section Head for the cholesterol program that developed and launched the cholesterol-lowering drug, Pravachol®. Dr. Tanaka received his Ph.D. in Biology/Parasitology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He conducted postgraduate studies on the regulation of cholesterol biosynthesis at the Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Tanaka has more than 40 scientific publications and 2 issued United States patents.