President & Chief Executive Officer, Director
Mr. Small became a director, President and Chief Operating Officer of Assembly Biosciences upon the closing of the acquisition of Assembly Pharmaceuticals, Inc. through a merger in July 2014, and he became Chief Executive Officer in February 2015. He is an accomplished biotechnology entrepreneur who has founded and grown multiple companies focused on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative therapies for challenging health conditions. Mr. Small co-founded Assembly Pharmaceuticals to develop curative therapies for chronic HBV infection and served as its Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since its inception in 2012 until its acquisition. Previously, Mr. Small served as a founding director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Naurex, Inc., a privately held company developing novel therapies for central nervous system (CNS) disorders whose clinical assets were acquired by Allergan in 2014 for more than $600 million. At Naurex, Mr. Small spearheaded the development of a rapidly acting novel antidepressant drug, rapastinel, which has since earned a coveted “breakthrough” designation from the FDA. Naurex's preclinical programs formed the basis for a spinout CNS company, Aptinyx, Inc. From 2009 to 2012, Mr. Small also served as a founding director, President and Chief Executive Officer of privately held biotechnology company Coferon, Inc., which is developing a novel self-assembling chemistry platform with transformative potential. Assembly Pharmaceuticals, Naurex/Aptinyx and Coferon are portfolio enterprises of Luson Bioventures, LLC, a venture creation firm that Mr. Small founded in 2007 and continues to head. Earlier in his career, he was a co-founder and served as Head of Business and Corporate Development and directed regulatory and clinical affairs at Semafore Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which pioneered one of the first PI3K kinase cancer programs to advance into clinical trials. Mr. Small received a BS in Business from Franklin College, and studied global business at the Harlaxton College affiliate program in England.