Kawahara, Douglas


Dr. Kawahara has over 25 years of biotechnology industry experience in business development, M&A, in-/out-licensing, technology assessment, strategic marketing/market analysis, patent portfolio management, and R&D management. His work has spanned the spectrum of the life sciences industry:  multiple therapeutic areas (oncology, inflammatory & autoimmune diseases, infectious disease, CNS, CV); discovery to late-stage development; a range of therapeutic classes (small molecule, peptides, biologics), therapeutic and preventive vaccines; platform technologies; diagnostics; and research products.

Dr. Kawahara is currently President & CEO of Elex Biotech (Portland, OR), a company developing novel drugs for the treatment of arrhythmia and heart failure. He remains active as a business and corporate development consultant with a focus on startup and early-stage biotechnology companies and has worked with >25 clients across the US and Canada. Previously, he was Executive Vice President, Corporate Development for Oligos Etc. (Wilsonville, OR), an FDA-certified manufacturer of custom GMP oligonucleotides for the molecular diagnostics industry. Prior to that, he was Vice President, Business Development, at Receptor BioLogix (Palo Alto, CA), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel biotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, Senior Director, Business Development, at Anesiva, Inc. (fka Corgentech, South San Francisco, CA), a developer of drugs for treating pain and inflammation, and Director, Corporate Development, at GeneTrol Biotherapeutics (Oakland, CA), a developer of therapeutic proteins for the treatment of cancer, viral infections and autoimmune diseases. He was a member of the founding management team and Corporate Director, Planning and Business Development, for Xenogen Corporation (Alameda, CA), developed original IVIS® in vivo biophotonic imaging system, and held positions of increasing responsibility at Becton Dickinson and Company (San Jose, CA) including Director, Reagents and Applications Development, for the Cellular Imaging Systems Division, and Manager, Licensing and New Business Development for the Advanced Cellular Biology Division. Dr. Kawahara was Director of Research, Children’s Hospital Orange County, and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, San Diego, an MBA in finance from California State University, Long Beach, and a Ph.D. in microbiology (immunology) from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He is also a Certified Licensing Professional.


“I provide hands-on C-level executive experience including business and corporate development (in-/out licensing; partnering; M&A), strategic marketing, preparation of business plans and investor presentations for start-up and early stage companies. I’ve successfully applied for grants/awards including: ~$3M NIH/NHLBI Phase IIB Small Market Award, University Venture Development Fund Award associated with a SAFE, and Oregon Innovation Council Enhanced Phase 0 Grant. I bring industry experience in multiple therapeutic areas (oncology, inflammatory/autoimmune diseases, infectious disease, CNS, CV, regenerative medicine), preventative and therapeutic vaccines as well as platform technologies and diagnostics. In addition, I have an extensive international network in pharma, biotech and venture capital communities.”