About us

At SmartPharm Therapeutics, we are committed to an ambitious goal: to make biologic therapies accessible for the patients who need them. We seek to accomplish this goal by developing gene encoded therapeutics capable of generating therapeutic proteins inside the patient’s body—”biologics from within.”

SmartPharm was formed in 2017 to catalyze a unique network of technologies and development partners in order to pursue high-impact opportunities in key medical markets.

Jose Trevejo, MD, PhD

“We believe that the coming decades will be the age of gene therapy in medicine. Our company’s role is to create gene-based drugs that can make desired therapeutics in the patient’s own body. We believe this revolutionary approach to biologics will make it possible to provide biologic therapies for the patients that need them.”

Management Team

José Trevejo, MD, PhD
José Trevejo, MD, PhDCEO and President

Dr. Trevejo brings his experience and passion for leading research and development teams in the advancement of novel therapeutics for serious diseases. Before joining SmartPharm as CEO, Dr. Trevejo served as vice president, clinical development at Cyclerion Therapeutics, where he helped advance a diverse clinical pipeline in rare diseases such as sickle cell anemia. Dr. Trevejo joined Ironwood/Cyclerion from Visterra, where he was a member of the executive team and lead the pre-clinical and clinical development of novel biologics. While at Visterra, he oversaw the transition to a clinical stage company as well as helped to secure a $215 million DHHS award to support development of a novel treatment for influenza. Prior to Visterra, he held clinical development leadership positions at Genentech and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Before entering the biotechnology industry, he served as instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and was a principal biomedical scientist at the Draper Laboratory.

Dr. Trevejo completed his clinical training at BWH/BIDMC/Harvard Medical School and earned his MD and PhD degrees from the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD program at Cornell-Rockefeller-Sloan Kettering in New York.

Susan Best
Susan BestDirector of People Resources/Operations

Ms. Best is a human resources and operations leader with 20 years of progressive experience within the biotech, construction, finance, and professional services sectors with key experience in startups and SMEs. Her work with life science companies includes Cambria Pharmaceuticals and Antigenics LLC (now Agenus), where she helped both companies transition out of university settings. Ms. Best is well-versed in identifying, defining, and driving strategic HR initiatives, developing and aligning HR policy and procedures, and orchestrating effective talent management solutions. She specializes in company culture and has collaborated with Education First (EF) on a speaker series about building company culture. She has also previously served as a judge in the HULT prize/Clinton Global Initiative.

Ms. Best obtained a BS in business management from the University of Phoenix.

Timothy Brauns, MBA
Timothy Brauns, MBAChief Operating Officer

Mr. Brauns brings tested and diverse operational experience in the life sciences field over the last 25 years gained in the academic hospital environment and in biotech and medical device companies and medical philanthropies. Prior to joining SmartPharm, Mr. Brauns was the associate director of the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center (VIC) at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where over a five-year period he helped to double the funding of the center, including landing key STTR grants and other contracts for support of preclinical life science technologies and guiding four preclinical technologies toward development partnerships. Before his work with VIC, he held positions as vice president of strategic planning for Boston BioCom, a biotechnology company; vice president of marketing and communication for BL Healthcare, a home health monitoring technology company; assistant director of the international program in the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) at MGH; and director of program development at the Adelson Medical Research Foundation.

Mr. Brauns brings special skills in the development and management of “distributed development” of new life science technologies through cross-disciplinary, inter-institutional, industry-academic teams, and in sponsored program developing, assisting organizations he was part of in securing over $60 million in grants and contracts from a broad range of federal and private funding organizations.

Leon F. Hebert Jr, PhD, JD, MBA
Leon F. Hebert Jr, PhD, JD, MBADirector of Business Development

Prior to joining SmartPharm, Dr. Hebert served as associate director of innovation for Partners HealthCare, where he utilized his business development, legal, and scientific experience to launch biotechnology start-up companies based upon research conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Hebert first developed his skills as a patent attorney with Pennie & Edmonds LLP in New York City and, since then, has worked for a number of biotechnology companies to create, license, and commercialize new technologies.

Dr. Hebert obtained his BS in biology from the University of Notre Dame, his PhD in cellular biology from the University of Alabama Birmingham, his JD from Seton Hall University, and his MBA from the University of Connecticut.

Jon Mogford, PhD
Jon Mogford, PhDGovernment Affairs and Alliance Management

Dr. Mogford has a proven track record in fostering and managing complex life science development. He most recently served as the vice chancellor for research for The Texas A&M University System, where he provided research and development leadership to the system’s eleven universities and seven state agencies encompassing 30,000 faculty and staff, 135,000 students, a budget of more than $4 billion, and research expenditures of more than $945 million annually. As the leader of the A&M System Office of Research, Dr. Mogford developed strategic partnerships with external agencies, foundations, academic institutions, and commercial corporations to enhance the system’s mission of research, teaching, service, and economic development for the state of Texas. Prior to joining the Texas A&M University System in 2011, Dr. Mogford served as a program manager and then deputy director of the Defense Sciences Office (DSO) of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the U.S. Department of Defense. As DSO Deputy Director, he provided strategic planning and implementation of $400M/year in R&D in the physical, biomedical, and material sciences. He provided leadership to 20 program managers in the development and management of office investments ranging from the fundamental sciences to commercial transition efforts for both defense and non-defense applications. Dr. Mogford led expansion of the formal working relationship between DARPA and the FDA to improve the ability of each organization to meet mission goals, which was highlighted as a DARPA-FDA-NIH partnership by the White House. Dr. Mogford is a recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.

Dr. Mogford obtained his bachelor’s degree in zoology from Texas A&M University and doctorate in medical physiology from the Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College Station, Texas. His research in vascular physiology continued at the University of Chicago as a postdoctoral fellow from 1997-1998. Dr. Mogford transitioned his research focus to the field of wound healing at Northwestern University, both as a research associate and also as a research assistant professor from 1998-2003.

John C. Thomas, Jr., CPA
John C. Thomas, Jr., CPAChief Financial Officer

Mr. Thomas has more than 40 years of experience in a variety of financial and accounting positions, with the last 33 years spent in the medical, pharmaceutical, and device fields. From 2001 until 2018, Mr. Thomas served as chief financial officer and secretary of CorMatrix Cardiovascular, a privately held medical device company and a director from 2001 until 2016. Since 1991, Mr. Thomas has served as chief financial officer, secretary, and director of Motion Reality, Inc., a privately held motion capture and simulation company. Since 2014, Mr. Thomas has served as a director of NantKwest, Inc., a public biotechnology company. From 2012 to 2019, Mr. Thomas served as a director of Novelion Therapeutics, Inc., formerly QLT, Inc., a public biotechnology company, and Medovex, Inc., a public medical device company. During the past 10 years, Mr. Thomas served as acting chief financial officer for DemeRx, Inc., MRI Interventions, Inc., MiMedx Group, Inc., and DARA BioSciences, and as a director of MRI Interventions, Inc. In 2018, Mr. Thomas was asked to return as the chief financial officer for DemeRx to assist them through a reorganization, which he did and continues to serve in that role.  From 1999 and 2012, Mr. Thomas also served as a trustee and subsequently the chairman of the finance committee of The Walker School, a private Pre-K through grade 12 school. Mr. Thomas is a certified public accountant and graduated from the University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce.

Bill Pullman, MB, MS, BMedSc, PhD, FRACP
Bill Pullman, MB, MS, BMedSc, PhD, FRACPHead of Research and Development

Bill Pullman, MB MS BMedSc PhD FRACP, has more than 35 years of experience, spanning the fields of Clinical Practice and Pharmaceutical Research and Development with “small” molecular and biologic (protein, antibody) therapeutics. He has played key roles in developing and progressing a significant number of innovative medicines through Regulatory approval in the US and EU (NDA and MAA) and onto market. Additionally, he has experience in Medical Affairs and Regulatory Approval in the Asia Pacific region (Australia, New Zealand and Japan) and has many successful IND’s to his credit.

Previously serving in roles for small to mid-sized Biotech companies, including Chief Scientific Officer (Proximagen LLC, Upsher-Smith Pharmaceuticals), Chief Medical Officer (Cubist) or Chief Development Officer (Dyax, TransForm), Bill has led strategic direction as well as operational and tactical execution for clinical, regulatory and scientific affairs for novel molecular entities as well as drug repurposing efforts. His contributions to Drug Development include pipeline selection and enhancement, translational medicine innovations including biomarker application, novel early and late phase clinical trial designs, medical affairs, and regulatory interactions.

Prior to his Biotech experience, Bill worked in a variety of roles for big Pharma companies including Pfizer, Lilly, Aventis, Sanofi-Aventis specializing in Clinical Pharmacology, Clinical Research and Medical Affairs. He completed his primary medical training at the University of Western Australia and is a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physicians. He also received a Ph.D. in Medicine and Clinical Science (Immunology) from the Australian National University.

Board of Directors

Steve Gorlin
Steve GorlinChair

Mr. Gorlin has 45 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. He has founded several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Medivation, Inc.; Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation; MiMedx; DARA BioSciences, Inc.; Hycor Biomedical, Inc.; CytRx Corporation; and EntreMed, Inc. Additionally, Mr. Gorlin served for many years on the business advisory council to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and on the Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering advisory board, and serves on the board of Andrews Institute. Mr. Gorlin is also the founder of The Touch Foundation, a nonprofit organization for the blind, and was a principal financial contributor to the founding of Camp Kudzu for diabetic children. In addition to his position as board chair for SmartPharm Therapeutics, he also currently serves as vice chairman of NantKwest, Inc.; chairman of ViCapsys; CEO of Nantibody Fc; and on the boards of Medovex, Inc.; Catasys, Inc.; Nantibody Fc; and NTC China, Inc. He is also a member of the Research Institute Advisory Council (RIAC) at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Fred Driscoll
Fred Driscoll

Prior to his retirement in 2017, Mr. Driscoll served as chief financial officer at Flexion Therapeutics, where he spearheaded a successful IPO in 2014 and during his tenure raised over $600 million toward the ultimate FDA approval of Zilretta®. From 2009 to 2013 he served as chief financial officer at Novavax, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company. Prior to Novavax, Mr. Driscoll served as chief financial officer from 2007 to 2008, and subsequently chief executive officer from 2008 to 2009, at Genelabs Technologies, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company that was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline; and chief executive officer at OXiGENE, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from 2000 to 2006.

He began his biotechnology career serving as chief financial officer at Instrumentation Laboratory, an in vitro diagnostics company. Mr. Driscoll has served as chairman of the board at OXiGENE and as a member of the audit committee for Cynapsus Therapeutics Inc., which was sold to Sunovion Pharmaceuticals in 2016. He currently sits on the boards of Cellectar Biosciences, Cue Biopharma, MEI Pharma, and NantKwest, all publicly traded companies where he serves on the audit committees of each.

Mr. Driscoll earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Bentley University.

Peter C. Gerhard
Peter C. Gerhard

Mr. Gerhard is the founder, managing partner, chief investment officer, and a portfolio manager of G Capital. Mr. Gerhard launched G Capital in 2009 after spending more than 20 years at Goldman Sachs. While at Goldman Sachs, he was named a partner in 1994 and was a member of the bank’s risk committee and also a member of the operating committee for its fixed income, currency, and commodities business. Mr. Gerhard is also the founder of Intervention Energy, LLC.

John T. Potts, MD, DSc
John T. Potts, MD, DSc

Dr. Potts is the Jackson Distinguished Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School. After completing his MD at the University of Pennsylvania and internship and residency at MGH, he worked at the National Institutes of Health for almost a decade, studying protein chemistry with Nobel laureate Christian Anfinsen. He returned to MGH as chief of endocrinology in 1968, where he subsequently served as director of research, chairman of the department of medicine, and physician-in-chief. An internationally recognized authority on calcium metabolism and the hormonal mechanisms that govern it, he has been a pioneer in identifying the chemistry and biology of clinical disorders of bone and mineral ion metabolism.

Dr. Potts has played an active role in the life sciences industry. He is a founder of Radius Health, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative endocrine therapeutics in the areas of osteoporosis and oncology, where he currently serves as a scientific advisory board member. He has also served on advisory boards with MPM Capital and HealthCare Ventures. He has previously held board of director positions with Cell Genesys, Zeltiq Aesthetics, Genentech, and NantKwest.

An author on over 500 publications, his honors and awards include the Association of Professors of Medicine’s Robert H. Williams, MD, Distinguished Chair of Medicine Award; the Biomedical Science Career Program Hope Award; the Endocrine Society’s Fred Konrad Koch Award; and the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research’s William F. Neumann Award. He holds active and honorary memberships in a number of scientific and professional organizations including the National Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences.

John Preston
John Preston

Mr. Preston is president and CEO of North American Development Group, one of the largest private developers and owners of retail shopping centers in North America. Mr. Preston has over 40 years of successful real estate development and investment experience throughout North America. Mr. Preston is also a founding partner of Centrecorp Management Services, which has become one of the largest private retail service providers in North America. In addition, he was co-founder and executive director of Centrefund Realty, a $1.1 billion Toronto Stock Exchange listed public company which, over a six-year period until it was sold in 2000, grew from a portfolio of 5 properties to own over 70 shopping centers. In 2007, Mr. Preston co-partnered the privatization of Sterling Centrecorp Inc. in a $280 million transaction. Mr. Preston, over the past few years, co-founded five investment funds in the United States and one in Canada, comprising over $1.25 billion of equity. These funds are investment partnerships comprising private and institutional investors.

Mr. Preston received his MBA from York University in Toronto.

José Trevejo, MD, PhD
José Trevejo, MD, PhD

Dr. Trevejo brings his experience and passion for leading research and development teams in the advancement of novel therapeutics for serious diseases. Before joining SmartPharm as CEO, Dr. Trevejo served as vice president, clinical development, at Cyclerion Therapeutics, where he helped advance a diverse clinical pipeline in rare diseases such as sickle cell anemia. Dr. Trevejo joined Ironwood/Cyclerion from Visterra, where he was a member of the executive team and lead the preclinical and clinical development of novel biologics. While at Visterra, he oversaw the transition to a clinical stage company as well as helped to secure a $215 million DHHS award to support development of a novel treatment for influenza. Prior to Visterra, he held clinical development leadership positions at Genentech and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Before entering the biotechnology industry, he served as instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and was a principal biomedical scientist at the Draper Laboratory.

Dr. Trevejo completed his clinical training at BWH/BIDMC/Harvard Medical School and earned his MD and PhD degrees from the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD program at Cornell-Rockefeller-Sloan Kettering in New York.