The eXIthera Board of Directors


Neil J Hayward, Ph.D

Dr. Hayward has held previous positions within both large pharmaceutical companies (GSK and Pfizer) and biotechnology companies (Alkermes, Praecis, Daiamed, and Hydra Biosciences).  He has over 30 years experience in discovery, preclinical research and development, and has successfully filed 7 INDs and product registrations of 2 new chemical entities.  Prior to co-founding and being the President and Chief Executive Officer at eXIthera Pharmaceuticals in August 2012, Dr. Hayward was Vice President of Pharmacology & Toxicology at Hydra Biosciences.  At Hydra Biosciences, Dr. Hayward played a key role in the identification and selection of ion channels as potential therapeutic targets, the execution of preclinical studies, and the subsequent nomination of small molecules as development candidates for internal projects and external collaborations (Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer and Zalicus).  Therapeutic targets investigated include pain, inflammation, asthma, anxiety, and bladder function. With colleagues at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, he identified a potent, selective and orally active TRPA1 inhibitor as a potential novel painkiller.  The development candidate (CB-189,625) has recently successfully completed Phase 1 clinical trials.  Dr. Hayward received his B.Sc. (Hons) degree from the University of London and M.Phil. & Ph.D. degrees in Pharmacology from the University of Cambridge, UK.  Dr. Hayward has published over 80 scientific papers and abstracts and is an author on 6 patents and 7 patent applications.


William H. Koster, Ph.D.,

Dr. Koster was Senior Vice-President for worldwide drug discovery research and early clinical development at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS).  He began his career in basic research at The Squibb Institute for Medical Research where his work contributed to the discovery of aztreonam, a monocyclic beta-lactam antibiotic, for which he received the Thomas Alva Edison Award from the R&D Council of New Jersey in 1992.  In 2001, he led the R&D acquisition and integration effort for the purchase of the DuPont Pharmaceutical Company by BMS.  He became President and CEO of Neurogen Corporation (a public (NASDAQ biotech company engaged in neuroscience R&D), a position he held until his retirement in 2008.  Dr. Koster has served on the boards of directors for Cadus Pharmaceutical Corporation, Mnemosyne Pharmaceuticals, Vedantra Pharmaceuticals and Neurogen Corporation. He has served in various scientific advisory forums including Connecticut Academy of Sciences and Engineering (CASE), the Keystone Symposia Scientific Advisory Board and The National Council for Harvard Medicine.  Dr. Koster holds 30 U.S. Patents and is the author of numerous scientific publications and presentations. He completed his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Tufts in 1972.


Fred Meyer, Ph.D., CFA

Dr. Meyer specializes in strategy, finance, and business development within life science industries. Over the past 17 years, he co-founded Artisan Pharma, Exponential Pharma Partners, and LipimetiX Development. At Apeiron Partners, he provided strategic advice to early and mid-stage ventures, designed and implemented financings, key technology licenses, and partnership deals for clients. He previously performed biotechnology equity research at Needham & Company and business development for the portfolio companies of Schooner Capital. Dr. Meyer received his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Ohio State University and has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.


Frans L. Stassen, Ph.D. 

Dr. Stassen is a co-founder of eXIthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  He has a successful track record of pharmaceutical R&D in large pharma and biotech.  He has guided all areas of the discovery and development of FXIa inhibitors from the beginning.  Dr. Stassen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Daiamed (previously SPRL: Suntory Pharmaceutical Research Laboratories). Prior to founding SPRL, he was the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of MyoGenics, Inc., later called ProScript, Inc.  Before joining the biotechnology industry, Dr. Stassen was Vice President of Research in Inflammation/Osteoarthritis, Molecular Biology and Enzymology at Ciba-Geigy, Summit, NJ.  He directed the discovery and preclinical development of several new anti-inflammatory drugs and established collaborations with academia and biotechnology companies.  He joined Ciba-Geigy from SmithKline in Philadelphia where he was Director of a cardiovascular drug discovery program.  Dr. Stassen received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.  He held academic appointments at the Departments of Pathology of the University of Nijmegen Medical School and the University of Maastricht Medical School.  He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, Nutley, NJ and a visiting scientist at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, CA. 


Scott Yaphe, MBA

Scott is a Managing Director of Schooner Capital focused on investment opportunities in venture and growth-stage companies as well as alternative asset funds.  Prior to Schooner, Scott spent 12 years as a General Partner at ABS Ventures, a multi-stage private investment firm. Scott has served on the board of directors of numerous companies including Adeptra (acquired by FICO), Synchronoss Technologies (NASDAQ:SNCR), Workbrain (TSX:WB) and Paratek (acquired by RIM). Before joining ABS Ventures, he was Director of Corporate Development at a telecommunications company as well as a management consultant with A.T. Kearney where he focused on corporate strategy in emerging market regions.  Scott received his MBA from Harvard Business School and Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University.