Dr. Javier Szwarcberg is an accomplished physician executive with over 18 years of leadership experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. He has an exceptionally rich skill set in clinical research and drug development, leading more than 22 clinical trials for a variety of drugs – including small molecules, peptides and biologics – with a proven track record of 4 successful drug approvals. Most recently, Dr. Szwarcberg served as the Group Vice President and Head of Program and Portfolio Development for BioMarin Pharmaceuticals. Previously, he held positions as Senior Vice President, Head of Program and Portfolio Management at Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical and Vice President of R&D and Business Development at Horizon Pharma. He is currently a scientific advisor to Abalone Bio. Dr. Szwarcberg received his MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health and his M.D. from Universidad de Buenos Aires School of Medicine.
Samir Gharib has served as our Chief Financial Officer since May 2020 and President since January 2022. Mr. Gharib is a proven and experienced leader in the global biopharmaceutical arena who has demonstrated success in strategy and execution of transformative capital raises, strategic transactions, and support of commercial product launches. Over the course of his career, Samir has raised nearly $1 Billion from the private and public capital markets, including two IPOs, to fund late-stage clinical development, pipeline expansion and commercialization. From September 2019 to May 2020, Mr. Gharib provided consulting services to various companies with Benchmark Financial Partners (“Benchmark”), a strategic financial advisory firm. From October 2018 to September 2019, Mr. Gharib was the Chief Financial Officer of Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc., a global pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of cell therapeutics for underserved medical conditions. From September 2017 to October 2018, Mr. Gharib served as Managing Director of Benchmark. From October 2013 to September 2017, Mr. Gharib held executive positions of increasing responsibility at Revance Therapeutics, Inc., a commercial-stage biotechnology company, including Vice President of Finance and Administration. From January 2011 to September 2013, Mr. Gharib was the Corporate Controller, Director of Finance for Talon Therapeutics, Inc. Mr. Gharib has been an advisor to Berkeley SkyDeck since January 2020. Mr. Gharib received a Bachelor of Science and M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, and is an active Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of California.
Dr. Will Charlton has served as our Chief Medical Officer since March 2022. He is an accomplished physician-scientist with nearly two decades of experience as a clinician and industry executive building successful programs across clinical development, medical affairs and drug safety. He joined Spruce from 89bio, Inc., where he served as Vice President, Clinical Development. Prior to 89bio, he was Senior Medical Director, Clinical Development at Ascendis Pharma. Prior to Ascendis, Dr. Charlton served as Executive Medical Director, Clinical Development, Liver Therapeutic Area at Allergan. Prior to his career in industry, Dr. Charlton spent over a decade in clinical practice as a board-certified pediatric endocrinologist. Dr. Charlton earned a medical degree from the University of Southern California. He completed his pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and his fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco.
Vae joins Spruce with approximately 30 years of drug development experience across biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and CRO industries. This experience includes leadership of cross-functional project teams, direction of multinational clinical development programs, contribution to product development strategies, and submission of successful new drug marketing applications. Prior to joining Spruce, Vae served as the Vice President of Clinical Operations for Navire Pharma, a BridgeBio company focused on the development of novel therapies for rare and difficult-to-treat cancers. Over the course of her career, Vae has played key leadership roles in the advancement of 60+ global clinical trials that enrolled over 100,000 subjects. Additional prior experience includes senior leadership positions at Corium, Nektar Therapeutics, Neuraltus Therapeutics, Questcor, and Durect Corporation. Vae holds a BS in Biologics Sciences from the University of California at Davis.
As Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Quality, Ms. Petersen is responsible for leading the company’s global regulatory affairs and quality strategy. Ms. Petersen is a seasoned industry executive with nearly three decades of experience overseeing global development of biologics and small molecule investigational products in immuno-oncology, infectious disease, and rare disease indications. Prior to joining Spruce, Ms. Petersen was Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Mereo BioPharma, and prior to Mereo BioPharma, had roles of increasing responsibility with Kartos Therapeutics, Immune Design, BN-Immunotherapeutics, Pharmacyclics, Chiron Corporation, and Alza Corporation. Ms. Petersen earned a Master of Public Health from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Tulane University.
P.J. Ramtin joins Spruce with more than 20 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries building and leading high-performing teams across development and commercial organizations, as well as patient support functions. She has worked in both start-up companies and global organizations with a focus in rare diseases, in support of the development and commercialization of breakthrough medicines. Prior to joining Spruce, P.J. was Vice President of Business Operations at BridgeBio. Prior to BridgeBio, P.J. held roles of increasing responsibility at Genentech, Regeneron, InterMune, GlaxoSmithKline, and Bristol Myers Squibb. Over the course of her career, P.J. has supported the development and commercialization of over 20 medicines, diagnostics, and delivery devices across oncology, rare disease, and immunology therapy areas. She has a passion for mentoring women in healthcare and volunteering for patient communities.
Dasharatha (Dash) joined Spruce with over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical development of small molecules from discovery to commercialization. Prior to joining Spruce, Dash served as Head of Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) at Landos Biopharma. Before Landos, Dash was responsible for leading pharmaceutical development and manufacturing operations at Reviva Pharmaceuticals, with a focus on products for the treatment of central nervous system disorders. Dash previously led the development of products leading to the approval of a New Drug Application under the 505(b)2 pathway at Teikoku Pharma USA. In earlier roles, Dash contributed to the development and approval of small molecules to treat a variety of diseases at Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Relypsa, and Horizon Therapeutics. Dash earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Science and performed post-doctoral research at Northwestern University.
Dr. Sile is a seasoned clinical research and development physician with nearly two decades of experience directing and leading clinical development programs that span across multiple therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, immunology, and rare disease programs. Over the course of her career, Dr. Sile has demonstrated success in executing a biological license application (BLA), FDA advisory committees, clinical trials from Phase 1 to Phase 3 with expertise in all aspects of clinical study conduct. She is an inventive strategist that is passionate about innovation in medicine and clinical development. Dr. Sile joins Spruce from Horizon Therapeutics, where she served as Executive Medical Director of Clinical Development. Prior to Horizon, she held roles of increasing responsibility at Raptor Pharmaceuticals, Gilead Sciences, and BioMarin Pharmaceutical. She earned an M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed Genetics and Nephrology fellowships at Vanderbilt University.