CEO & President

Raymond K. Houck is a serial entrepreneur and has been the co-founder of three technology and biopharmaceutical companies. His expertise includes product development of both technology and drug products, business development, sales and marketing including creating and managing US and EU sales forces; finance including raising over $40 million of private financings for his companies, multiple M&A processes and recent IPO process.

Most recently, Mr. Houck was the CEO, President and co-founder of Thar Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage, specialty pharmaceutical company that focused on transforming intravenous (IV) drugs into oral drugs for existing and new indications. Thar’s lead product, T121, is a composition-of-matter patented, Phase III-ready, prodrug-like oral version of zoledronic acid that is targeted for the treatment of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, an orphan disease with no approved FDA or EMA therapies. Thar was acquired by Grunenthal GmbH in October 2016, who is competing the Phase III development and commercialization of T121. Previously, Mr. Houck was the CEO, President and co-founder of Automated Cell, Inc., a company focused on the discovery and development of antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, with a focus in melanoma. Previously, Mr. Houck co-founded Suprex Corporation (acquired by Teledyne Technologies, Inc.), an analytical instrument and separation science company, where he served in positions including President, Vice President of Marketing & Sales, and Vice President of Research & Development. Mr. Houck is an independent director of N8 Medical, an antimicrobial drug and device company. He has more than twenty issued and pending US and worldwide patents. Mr. Houck holds a MS in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS in chemical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.


Chief Scientific Officer

Ning Shan is an experienced executive with over 15 years of pharmaceutical industry experience. He has equipped with a good scientific understanding in pharmaceutical science, and the knowledge of current industry best practice and regulatory requirements. Dr. Shan is skilled in drug delivery and pharmaceutical development. He has been continuously involved in the evaluation and selection of promising drug candidates for further advancement, as well as strategic planning of pharmaceutical development and intellectual property protection. He has demonstrated extensive expertise in preformulation and formulation, nonclinical in vitro and in vivo studies, cGMP manufacturing, regulatory filing, and protection of intellectual properties. Dr. Shan is a renowned subject matter expert in organic solid-state chemistry, with a special focus on pharmaceutical cocrystals. He has invented an innovative technology, named “solvent-drop grinding”, which is used world-wide as a standard tool for crystal form screening today.

Previously, Dr. Shan was a Director of Preclinical Development at Thar Pharmaceuticals, where he has served as a founding member of Thar’s Research and Development. At Thar, he has led the scientific team that discovered and developed Thar’s leading T121 project from preclinical stage to Phase 3. He was also a Senior Manager at Insys Therapeutics, where he has managed numerous nasal/sublingual spray and cannabinoid projects. He has also served as a postdoctoral researcher in Singapore and a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a prominent scientist, Dr. Shan has also actively involved in academic activities in the past and present. He has served as an adjunct professor and taken supervising and teaching responsibilities at the National University of Singapore, the University of South Florida and the University of the Pacific. Dr. Shan received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Cambridge, UK and his B.S. in Chemistry from Wuhan University, China. Dr. Shan has authored 34 peer-reviewed journal publications with over 3000 citations. He served as an inventor of more than 50 patents and patent publications.