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Okazaki joined Assembly Bio as chief legal and business officer in 2020, where he was in charge of leading and executing strategic collaborations and transactions. Samar has headed Assembly Bio’s financial and business operations since joining the company in 2017, most recently as senior vice president of finance and business operations.
FREMONT, CA: Assembly Biosciences, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing advanced therapeutics targeting Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), recently announced the promotions of Jason Okazaki to chief operating officer and Michael Samar to chief financial officer. Okazaki joined Assembly Bio as chief legal and business officer in 2020, where he was in charge of leading and executing strategic collaborations and transactions. Samar has headed Assembly Bio’s financial and business operations since joining the company in 2017, most recently as senior vice president of finance and business operations.
“Jason and Michael are highly skilled in their respective professions and as business leaders; together, they have brought to bear their years of industry experience to positively impact Assembly Bios business, finance and operations and ensure we are well-positioned to meet our long-term objectives,” said John McHutchison, AO, MD, chief executive officer and president of Assembly Bio. “Their expert counsel and strategic guidance have been invaluable and they have made important contributions to our growth. Im thrilled to recognize their leadership with these promotions and look forward to our continued work together as we pursue finite and curative therapies for HBV.”
Okazaki comes to Assembly Bio with 20 years of business and legal experience, including 14 years as senior vice president, legal, and assistant secretary at Gilead Sciences.
He oversaw a global legal team that supported businesses in the United States, Asia, and Latin America and provided corporate governance and SEC reporting advice.
Okazaki was also in charge of all acquisitions, strategic collaborations, licensing agreements, and structuring and legal implementation. He formerly worked as an associate in the mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance divisions at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher &Flom LLP. Okazaki earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from UC Hastings College of the Law. He is a member of the California and New York State Bars.
Samar has over 20 years of experience overseeing finance and business operations for firms in the life sciences industry and assisting transactions such as IPOs, financings, and M&A. He formerly worked at Acorda Therapeutics as vice president of finance (formerly Biotie Therapies).
Samar previously worked at Onyx Pharmaceuticals as the director of financial planning and analysis; Agennix (formerly GPC Biotech) as the senior finance director of global planning and analysis; and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development as the director of financial planning and analysis. He has a master’s degree in business administration from Villanova University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Bryant University.