Derek Small
Founder, Managing Director / Luson Bioventures

Derek is the founding Managing Director of Luson Bioventures, a biopharmaceutical venture creation firm founded in 2007, and has been launching new companies and developing new innovative drugs for over 20 yrs. He is also currently Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Monument Biosciences, and Co-founder and Chairman of Gate Neurosciences; both are portfolio new venture creations of Luson Bioventures.

Derek has been co-founder and CEO of multiple new venture creations via Luson, including: CEO of Assembly Biosciences (Nasdaq: ASMB); Founding CEO of Naurex (acq. by Allergan in 2015 – leading to a spin out of Aptinyx/Nasdaq: APTX); Founding CEO of Coferon, and other
portfolio companies. These companies have discovered more than 10 novel and innovative drug candidates in development to help patients with CNS or neuropsychiatry diseases, including: major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, PTSD, and others; Infectious diseases, including Hepatitis B; inflammatory and GI diseases, including IBD; several types of cancer, and other diseases of high unmet need.

Derek has partnered with many top-tier life science investors, public investors and VCs, to build these companies in the private and public settings, and has raised over US$1 billion to date for these ventures. The companies have also established global and regional partnerships with
major pharmaceutical companies including Abbvie, Allergan, Eli Lilly, Jansen, Lundbeck, Takeda, and others totaling >US$3 billion to date.

In addition to these US ventures, Derek has been dedicated to developing innovative drugs in China since 2009. In 2016 he launched Assembly China in Shanghai and Beijing to advance novel drugs for Hepatitis B, and served as CEO/GM through multiple new clinical development
programs and a China partnership with BeiGene in 2020 totaling over US$500M.

In addition to these ventures, Derek serves on the board of directors for Biocrossroads, a non-profit life sciences organization based in Indianapolis, IN, and other private companies, and serves as an advisor to multiple academic institutions. Derek graduated from Franklin College
with a BS in Business Administration, and studied at Harlaxton College in England. Derek’s top priorities are faith and his family – his wife of over 20 years, and three amazing children.