About Us

Excubio Pharmaceuticals is an early stage pharmaceutical company developing therapeutics based upon aminoacyl t-RNA synthetases.  Our primary therapeutic focus is fibrosis/inflammation, oncology and alopecia.  Excubio is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Medicinal Bioconvergence Research Center of Seoul National University (“Biocon”).  A key characteristic of Excubio’s strategy is to leverage the deep research and early stage development capabilities of Biocon with experienced biological research capabilities, clinical development and commercial specialists in the United States and Europe.  The company has access to extensive research capabilities centered in Seoul (within Biocon) and early stage development and business activities centered in Boston, MA.

Leadership

Thomas X. Neenan, PhD / CEO & Founder

Thomas X. Neenan, PhD/ Founder & CEO of Excubio Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Dr. Neenan has 20 years of drug discovery, development and business experience with extensive experience in the transition of pharmaceutical projects from academia to industry.  Prior to Biocon, Dr. Neenan was the Founder and CTO of Sideris Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage developer of small molecules for the treatment of disease of iron overload, with technology licensed from the University of Florida.  Dr. Neenan founded the company in 2012, raised $32M in equity financing and completed an option agreement with Novartis to acquire to the company following Phase 2 studies.

Prior to Sideris, Dr. Neenan served as Founder and CEO of Viscus Biologics in Cleveland Ohio, and he has held numerous senior management roles in the biotech industry, including at Proxy Biomedical (Galway, Ireland), Warwick Effect Polymers (Coventry, UK) and Trine Pharmaceuticals (Waltham, MA).  He was Vice-President, Business Operations for Genzyme Drug Discovery and Development and has served on the boards of Sun BioPharmaInc., a Minneapolis-based pancreatic oncology company, and Neomics, Seoul, Korea.  He received his PhD in chemistry from Pennsylvania State University, and was a Fellow at Harvard University.

Sunghoon Kim, PhD / Founder

Sunghoon Kim, PhD / Founder of Excubio Pharmaceuticals Inc. & Biocon Research Director

Professor, College of Pharmacy and Director, Medicinal Bioconvergence Research Center (“Biocon”), Seoul National University 

Prof. Kim’s  research has focused on  unveiling novel regulatory networks mediated by human aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs). This family of enzymes has traditionally been regarded as housekeeping machinery for protein synthesis. The regulatory roles and implications of these proteins in human diseases have been largely overlooked for decades. Prof. Kim’s discoveries on the new function, pathology and medicine of ARSs are rapidly opening a research area that casts new insights into the central dogma of life and human diseases.  

Prof. Kim’s contributions were recognized by the Korean Government in 2009 when it awarded him a Global Frontier Grant of approximately $140M over nine years. This grant forms the basis of The Medicinal Bioconvergence Research Center, or Biocon.  

Prof. Kim received his PhD at Brown University and was a post-doctoral fellow at MIT with Prof. Paul Schimmel.  He was the first employee at Cubist Pharmaceuticals before returning to Korea to begin his career in academia.  Prof. Kim received Korea’s prestigious Ho-Am Prize for Medicine in 2015. The award of $250,000 cited Prof. Kim’s work as a leading expert in the field of ARSs and related proteins. 

Nam Hoon Kwon, DVM, PhD / Head of Research Operations

Nam Hoon Kwon, DVM, PhD / Head of Research Operations at Excubio Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Research Professor, Medicinal Bioconvergence Research Center (“Biocon”), Seoul National University 

Dr. Nam Hoon Kwon graduated from the College of Natural Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University (Korea). She received her PhD in Veterinary Microbiology from Seoul National University. Dr. Kwon worked at the University of Idaho as a visiting scholar from 2005 to 2007. She has been working with Prof. Kim as a senior researcher at Medicinal Bioconvergence Research Center, Seoul National University since 2011.  At Biocon, she leads a group that investigates disease-related functions of ARSs and has become involved in early drug development, such as mechanism study, target validation, assay development and drug screening. She was awarded “A Person of Merit (R&D)” by The Korean Ministry of Science in 2013.

Bob Burrier, PhD / Head of Research Strategy

Bob Burrier, PhD / Head of Research Strategy at Excubio Pharmaceuticals Inc.

A career technology executive with deep experience in pharmaceutical research, product development, biotech services, and diagnostics.  Dr. Burrier brings over 35 years of drug discovery, assay development, as well as project and business leadership experience to Biocon. He participated and led programs resulting in drugs currently on the market including Zetia, Vytorin, and others. He has expertise in assays and paradigms used for drug discovery having participated in over 150 drug discovery programs while working for Schering-Plough, Eli Lilly, GelTex and Genzyme.  His technology expertise includes cell biology, cell media development, assay development, bioproduction, stem cells, and biomarker/diagnostics development. Dr. Burrier led teams with innovative workflow improvements resulting in commercialization of hundreds of products with bio-supplier companies including Invitrogen, and EMD Millipore (Merck).  Dr. Burrier currently also serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Stemina Biomarker Discovery and NeuroPointDX. He received his PhD in biochemistry from Boston University and was a Fellow at both Wake Forest University and Boston University.