Michael T. Cullen, M.D., MBA
Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Executive Chairman
Dr. Cullen has served as Executive Chairman of the board and as a director of our Company since September 2015. He resumed responsibilities as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company in October 2018. Dr. Cullen brings 30 years of pharmaceutical experience to our Company, including expertise in working with development-stage companies in planning, designing and advancing drug candidates from preclinical through clinical development. Dr. Cullen co-founded SBR in November 2011 and had continuously served as Chairman its board of directors since that date. He previously served as its Chief Executive Officer and President of SBR from November 2011 to June 2015. Dr. Cullen assumed responsibility as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company on October 31, 2018. Dr. Cullen provided due diligence consulting to the pharmaceutical industry from 2009 to 2011, after one year in transition consulting to Eisai Co., Ltd. He developed several oncology drugs as Chief Medical Officer for MGI Pharma Inc. from 2000 to 2008, and previously at G.D. Searle, SunPharm Corporation, and as Vice President for Clinical Consulting at IBAH Inc., the world’s fifth largest contract research organization, where he provided consulting services on business strategy, creating development plans, regulatory matters and designing clinical trials for several development stage companies in the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Cullen was also a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of IDD Medical, a pharmaceutical start-up company. Dr. Cullen joined 3M Pharmaceuticals in 1988 and contributed to the development of cardiovascular, rheumatology, pulmonary and immune-response modification drugs. Over the course of his career Dr. Cullen has been instrumental in obtaining the approval of ten drugs, including three (3) since 2004: Aloxi®, Dacogen® and Lusedra®. Board- certified in Internal Medicine, Dr. Cullen practiced from 1977 to 1988 at Owatonna Clinic, Owatonna, MN, where he served as president. Dr. Cullen earned his MD and BS degrees from the University of Minnesota and his MBA from the University of St. Thomas and completed his residency and Board certification in Internal Medicine through the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and Wilmington, NC.
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Horvath has held both finance and operating positions within pharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer organizations. Most recently she served as Chief Financial Officer of Eyebobs, LLC, a private company focused on the reading glasses industry. Prior to that, Ms. Horvath served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Tenacious Holdings, Inc. (d/b/a ergodyne) a privately held, safety products company designing, manufacturing and selling products to help improve safety and productivity in the work place; Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Human Resources at Healthsense, Inc., a next generation technology (SaaS) and remote monitoring company focused on providing safety and improving quality of life while reducing overall costs of healthcare for seniors and fragile adults; Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Operations & Human Resources of Hemosphere, Inc., an early commercialization stage medical device company that manufactured and sold HeRO® – a clinically proven long-term vascular access device for hemodialysis patients; Director of Financial Planning & Analysis and Vice President & Team Leader International of CNS, Inc, a $140 million fast-growing consumer health care products company focused on the development and marketing of strong consumer brands, including Breathe Right® nasal strips, and FiberChoice® daily fiber supplements. Ms. Horvath holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois, Champaign, and is a Certified Management Accountant and Certified Public Accountant, inactive.
Thomas X. Neenan, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Neenan is an entrepreneur and scientist with extensive chemistry and business development executive experience with AT&T Bell Labs, Geltex, Genzyme, Warwick Effect Polymers, and Proxy Biomedical. Prior to Sun BioPharma, Dr. Neenan was the founding CEO and served as Chief Technology Officer of Sideris Pharmaceuticals Inc, raising $32M in equity financing in 2013. Dr. Neenan holds a B.Sc (Hons) in Chemistry from the The National University of Ireland, a Ph.D in Synthetic Chemistry from Penn State University, and completed post-doctoral studies in chemistry at Harvard University. Dr. Neenan also brings a wealth of knowledge to the Company on drug manufacture and was instrumental in improving the synthetic process for SUN-101. He is the author of approximately 65 publications in the fields of chemistry, materials sciences and drug development and holds approximately 45 US and international patents.
Suzanne Gagnon, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Gagnon has served as our Chief Medical Officer and as a director of our Company since September 2015. Dr. Gagnon had previously served as a director of Sun BioPharma Research, Inc. (“SBR”), a former affiliate of the Company, since June 2015 and as its Chief Medical Officer since January 2015. Previously, Dr. Gagnon served as the Lead Clinical Consultant to the Company. Dr. Gagnon has been the President of Gagnon Consulting LLC since July 2014, consulting on medical, safety and regulatory matters. From December 2001 through July 2014, Dr. Gagnon had acted as the Chief Medical Officer for three companies, ICON Clinical Research, Nupathe, Inc. and Idis, Inc.
Vice President of Operations
Since April 2012, Ms. Groene has provided administrative support and operational management to the Sun BioPharma, Inc. team. Prior to joining Sun BioPharma, Inc., Ms. Groene worked for MGI Pharma, Inc. as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Medical Officer then transitioned into the Marketing Department. Ms. Groene earned her Bachelor of Science degree from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Anthony L. Kiorpes, Ph.D., DVM
Andy Kiorpes is a graduate of Columbia University (BA Biology, 1970), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (MS Veterinary Science, 1974; PhD Physiology, 1977) Kansas State University (DVM, 1982), and the University of Arkansas (MBA, 1999). He has over 22 years of experience as a toxicologist working in food, pharmaceutical, and medical device development and safety. A former university professor and large animal veterinarian, Dr. Kiorpes has authored/co-authored over 50 scientific articles, abstracts, and book chapters in physiology, toxicology, and veterinary medicine. He has been an invited speaker on topics ranging from the Good Laboratory Practice Act to Carcinogenicity Testing to Toxicokinetics. He has been an active member of the American College of Toxicology since 1998, serving on the Finance Committee from 2006 through 2008 and beginning a three-year term on Council in 2012. A full member of The Society of Toxicology (SOT), The American Physiological Society, and the American Veterinary Medical Association including the Minnesota chapter, he was past president and councilor of the Northland Chapter of SOT and an adjunct professor in the Graduate Toxicology Program at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Kiorpes is currently an Editor-in-Chief of the journal Toxicology and Industrial Health and an independent consultant working with pharmaceutical and medical device clients (River Bluff Associates) and serves on the business advisory board of the University of Minnesota’s office of technology transfer. Dr. Kiorpes is a 1994 diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.
Michael Walker, M.D.
Pancreatic Research Consultant
Dr. Michael Walker obtained his BS (Biochemistry) and MD degrees from the University of Minnesota. He completed his General Surgery residency and a 2-year American Cancer Society clinical and research fellowship at UCLA, focusing on pancreatic islets and their molecular physiology. Before joining Sun BioPharma, he practiced General Surgery in Minnesota. Dr. Walker brings a strong background in both the molecular biology of the pancreas and clinical practice caring for patients with pancreas cancer and pancreatitis, including the most severe form of pancreatitis, necrotizing pancreatitis. Dr. Walker holds and appointment in the Medical School at the University of Minnesota and has several peer-reviewed publications. He has received an NIH research grant and has been an invited lecturer at a Gordon Research Conference on Polyamines.
Kristen Flaharty, PharmD
Dr. Kristen Flaharty, a board certified Clinical Pharmacologist, has been a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, for the past 20 years, primarily involved in clinical pharmacology and regulatory aspects of pharmaceutical development. Dr. Flaharty has presented clinical development plans and pre-registration packages at FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research on behalf of sponsors and has been a major contributor to the development and approval of more than 20 new prescription drugs during her career in the US and worldwide. Following her training, she worked as a research scientist at SmithKline Beecham and was responsible for designing and analyzing pharmacokinetic studies for numerous pipeline products. She also spent time in academia as an assistant Professor at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy where she combined teaching, clinical work and research focusing on improving patient care and understanding of pharmacokinetic behavior of chemotherapeutic agents in patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation. After relocating to Florida, she taught pharmacokinetics at Nova Southeastern University in the Doctor of Pharmacy program for a total of 13 years while consulting to the industry. Dr. Flaharty, received her doctoral degree in Pharmacy from the University of Michigan and then pursued a clinical residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, followed by a research Fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. She has published in numerous scientific journals, presented at a multitude of professional meetings worldwide, and holds a patent on combination therapy for inhibition of platelet aggregation.