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Petri Dish

About Us

Our team consists of industry veterans with broad and extensive business and drug development expertise

Company Overview

Lirum Therapeutics is an innovative biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of debilitating diseases through the acquisition, development and commercialization of novel drug candidates with compelling mechanisms of action, regulatory pathways and commercial opportunities.

Our goal is to build a leading biopharmaceutical company focused on improving the lives of patients with difficult-to-treat diseases by developing and commercializing novel highly differentiated therapeutics.

The company was created by Stemline Therapeutics (formerly NASDAQ: STML) management, a veteran team with a proven track record of clinical and regulatory achievement. This included FDA and EMA approval and the successful commercial launch of ELZONRIS®, an FDA-designated breakthrough therapy. 

Lirum was founded in 2021 and is headquartered in New York City.

Board of Directors


Ivan Bergstein, MD


Ivan Bergstein, MD is an experienced biopharmaceutical executive and board member with over 25 years in the industry. Dr. Bergstein currently serves as CEO of Stemline Therapeutics (formerly NASDAQ: STML), a company he founded. Stemline was acquired in June 2020 by a global pharmaceutical company. Under Dr. Bergstein’s leadership, Stemline completed a successful initial public offering (IPO) and Stemline’s lead drug, ELZONRIS®, received regulatory approval and was commercially launched in both the United States and Europe for the treatment of patients with an orphan hematologic malignancy. He received a BA in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania, was elected to the Pi Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society, and was captain of the varsity wrestling team. He then received an MD from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, received the Merck Award for Clinical Excellence, and subsequently completed an internship in general surgery. He became the Jerome A. Urban Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Cornell University Medical College where he studied and published work relating to Wnt genes in human breast cancer. He completed an internal medicine residency and hematology-oncology fellowship at the New York Presbyterian Hospital—Weill Medical College of Cornell University, where he studied and published work on gene therapy manipulations of the sonic hedgehog pathway.


Ken Hoberman

Board Member

Ken Hoberman is a seasoned biopharmaceutical executive and has been a key member of the founding/early-stage creation of several companies. Mr. Hoberman currently serves as COO of Stemline, where he was a key member of the management team that obtained US and EU approvals of its lead drug, ELZONRIS. Mr. Hoberman also co-led efforts to finance Stemline from inception through an IPO and ultimately its acquisition by a global pharmaceutical company. He currently serves on the Board of TG Therapeutics (NASDAQ: TGTX) and Nuvectis Pharma (NASDAQ: NVCT). During his career, Mr. Hoberman helped secure multiple sources of capital, equity investments through public and private offerings, and has extensive experience in finance, accounting, clinical, regulatory, manufacturing, human resources, commercialization, investor relations, corporate governance, and global business development including mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, and partnerships. He executed a $100 million strategic alliance and originated, negotiated, and closed dozens of licensing and operational contracts, helping to grow several company’s market capitalization to over $1 billion. Mr. Hoberman led teams that originated, in-licensed, and develop products approved and commercialized in the US, Europe and Japan. He received a BSBA in Finance from Boston University and completed post-baccalaureate studies at Columbia University.

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Mark Sard

Board Member

Mark Sard has spent more than 30 years in venture capital, private equity, and underwriting. Currently, Mr. Sard is a Founder and Principal at Frontier Equities VC, a generalist venture capital firm that invests in early- to mid-stage companies. Past investments, with successful exits, include Glaceau/Vitaminwater sold to Coca Cola and Nurture Inc./Happy Baby sold to Group Danone. Mr. Sard also structured over $3 billion in financing for companies with valuations from $10 million to Fortune 500 corporations. Previously, Mr. Sard was the Director of Acquisitions for a boutique investment management firm with over $2 billion in assets, sourcing over $500 million in institutional investments. Mr. Sard was an early investor and advisor to Stemline Therapeutics (formerly NASDAQ: STML) and, subsequently, became a key member of the board of directors, including sitting on its audit committee. In his tenure, he advised the company on accounting and financial matters, governance, and the sale of the company. Mr. Sard received a BA in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional coursework in advanced applied mathematics.

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Kenneth Zuerblis

Board Member

Ken Zuerblis has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from September 2011 until May 2012. Prior to joining Savient, Mr. Zuerblis served as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President at ImClone Systems from 2008 through 2009. In that role, he was responsible for the strategic planning and leadership of finance and related operations and helped lead all aspects of the sale of the company to Eli Lilly and Company. From 1994 through 2005, Mr. Zuerblis served as Chief Financial Officer of Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which developed the first three FDA approved products using PEGylation technology. He began his career at KPMG, LLP in 1982 where he held management positions of increasing responsibility. Mr. Zuerblis previously served on the board of directors of Stemline Therapeutics, Immunomedics, Inc., and XTL Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Mr. Zuerblis currently serves on the board of directors of Resverlogix Corp., which is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and Zenith Epigenetics, Inc., a private biotechnology company based in Calgary, Canada. Mr. Zuerblis earned his B.S. in Accounting from Seton Hall University and was a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New Jersey. 

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Alan Forman was formerly a Director of Investments at the Yale University Investments Office, the team charged with managing the University's $40 billion endowment fund. Mr. Forman has been a leader at the Investment Office for more than three decades during which time the office has become one of the top performing institutions in the world. While at the institution, he has executed billions of dollars of transactions across numerous investment cycles and industries. Mr. Forman currently serves on the Board of Directors of JBG Smith, a NYSE-listed company. From the firm's listing until May of 2022, he chaired JBGS' Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. He also serves on the firm's Compensation Committee. Mr. Forman also served on the Board of Directors of two other publicly traded companies, Acadia Realty Trust and Stemline Therapeutics. Mr. Forman served on and chaired committees at both firms, as well as on the Board of Directors of Kimpton Group Holdings, which was ultimately sold to Intercontinental Hotels Group. Mr. Forman received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from NYU's Stern Graduate School of Business.

Alan Forman

Board Member

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Daniel Hume

Board Member

Daniel Hume is currently a managing partner at Kirby McInerney, LLP. Mr. Hume’s law practice focuses on securities law regulation, structured finance, antitrust, and civil litigation. Mr. Hume is member of the Board of Directors of TG Therapeutics (NASDAQ: TGTX). Mr. Hume served as a key member of the Board of Directors of Stemline Therapeutics (formerly NASDAQ: STML), having advised the company on multiple matters including legal, financial, human resources, governance, and ultimately around the sale of the company. Mr. Hume is admitted to the New York State Bar and federal courts around the country, including the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Hume received a BA in philosophy and graduated magna cum laude from the State University of New York at Albany. He earned a JD from the Columbia University Law School, where he served as Notes Editor for the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law.



Peter McDonald

Chief Executive Officer

Peter McDonald has over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology and financial services industry. From 2014 until 2022, he served as a key member of the Stemline team from IPO to drug commercialization in both US and ex-US. As SVP, Corporate and Business Development at Stemline he was responsible for all aspects of the company including operations, finance, business development (both in and out licensing), investor relations, and scientific and corporate communications. He was an instrumental member of the team that sold the company and help its growth from IPO to a valuation of almost 10X. Prior to Stemline, Mr. McDonald was an analyst at Auriga USA, a fund focused on private and public equity investments in global healthcare companies. Prior to Auriga, Mr. McDonald was a sell side analyst responsible for coverage of small and mid-cap biotechnology, diagnostic and life science tools companies at several firms. Mr. McDonald holds a BS in Chemistry from the State University of New York at Geneseo and an MBA from Fordham University.

Matt Hoberman

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Matt Hoberman was part of the Stemline (formerly NASDAQ: STML; now Menarini-Stemline) team from 2018 until 2022, where he served as a key member of the business and corporate development team. Mr. Hoberman contributed to all aspects of company activities, including operations, business development (both in and out licensing), investor relations, and scientific communications and strategy. He was also part of the team that headed up the integration of Stemline with its acquirer in the period immediately following the acquisition. Mr. Hoberman received his BSE magna cum laude in Industrial Engineering, with studies in biology, from University of Michigan.


Vice President, Operations

What does "Lirum" mean?

Lirum means “strength” in ancient Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization.


The earliest medical prescriptions appear in Sumerian during the Third Dynasty of Ur (c. 2112 BCE – c. 2004 BCE). Along with the Egyptians, the Babylonians introduced the practice of diagnosis, prognosis, physical examination, and remedies. In East Semitic cultures, the main medicinal authority was known as an asipu. Another type of healer, known as an asu, corresponds more closely to a modern physician and treated physical symptoms using primarily folk remedies composed of various herbs, animal products, minerals, potions, and ointments.

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