Board of Directors
Executive Chairman, Independent
Mike Grey is Executive Chairman of the Spruce Biosciences Board of Directors. He also serves as venture partner at Pappas Ventures. Previously he founded and was president and chief executive officer at Lumena Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company developing treatments for pediatric and adult orphan diseases, until its acquisition by Shire plc. Mike has 40 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and has held senior positions at a number of companies, including president and chief executive officer of Auspex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., president and chief executive officer of SGX Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was acquired by Eli Lilly in 2008, president and chief executive officer of Trega Biosciences, Inc., which was acquired by Lion Bioscience in 2001, and president of BioChem Therapeutic Inc. For approximately 20 years, Mike served in various roles with Glaxo, Inc. and Glaxo Holdings plc, culminating in his position as vice president, corporate development and head of international licensing. Mike serves on the board of directors of Balance Therapeutics, Inc., Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., Biothera Pharmaceutical, Inc., Horizon Pharma plc, and Mirati Therapeutics, Inc.
Alexis Howerton, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Howerton has served as the CEO of Spruce Biosciences since inception. Prior to founding Spruce, Dr. Howerton was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University, where she worked in clinical biomarker development to drive patient-centric targeted therapeutics. Dr. Howerton received her PhD in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where she received additional training in clinical research, epidemiology, and biostatistics. She earned her undergraduate degree in neurobiology from Macalester College, where she graduated with honors.
Tiba Aynechi, PhD
Partner, Novo Ventures
Tiba Aynechi joins Spruce from Novo Ventures, where she serves as partner. She has more than 10 years of combined research and banking experience in life sciences that spans various therapeutic areas and technology platforms. Prior to joining Novo A/S, Dr. Aynechi was a Director with Burrill & Company where she has completed regional and cross-border M&A, licensing, and financing transactions for biotech and large pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Aynechi is also a published author of scientific articles and book chapters in the area of rational drug design. Dr. Aynechi received her PhD in biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco where her research involved developing computational methods for drug discovery. She has an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of California, Irvine.
Niall O’Donnell, PhD
Managing Director, RiverVest
Niall O’Donnell joins Spruce from RiverVest, where he has served as managing director since 2014. He focuses on biopharmaceutical, diagnostic and medical device opportunities and contributes to the formation, development and business strategies of RiverVest portfolio companies. Dr. O’Donnell is a board member of Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Lyric Pharmaceuticals and co-founder of Reneo Pharmaceuticals. Dr. O’Donnell has served in key leadership positions at a number of biopharmaceutical companies that went on to be acquired by global pharmaceutical organizations including Pfizer, Shire and Novartis. Prior to joining RiverVest, Dr. O’Donnell spent five years as an immunologist at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development in San Diego. He co-authored the first paper validating the newly discovered histamine H4receptor as a key regulator of immune pathologies. Dr. O’Donnell earned his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Dundee, Scotland, and an MA in biochemistry from Pembroke College, Oxford. He also received an MBA from the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego.
Camilla V. Simpson
Senior Vice President and Head of Product Development, BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.
Camilla V. Simpson, SVP and Head of Product Development joined BioMarin in 2014. She is responsible for Corporate and R&D Governance, Program Leadership, Project Management and Portfolio Strategy and Business Analytics. Prior to this role, Camilla held the position of Group Vice President, Head of Global Regulatory Affairs 2014 – 2017. Camilla has 22 years in industry and prior to BioMarin spent 12 years at Shire Pharmaceuticals where after multiple roles of increasing responsibility held the position of Vice President Regulatory Affairs; Early Development and Business Development. Before joining Shire, Camilla spent 7 years at Abbott Laboratories. Camilla has significant experience in global drug development and registration, due diligence and M&A plus leadership of globally based teams, talent and change management. She has operated at the senior leadership level for 11 years. Camilla holds a BSc from University College Galway, Ireland, BSc Hons from Kingston University, UK and an MSc with distinction from the University of London.
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Clinical Trials 2019
Spruce also has ongoing collaborations with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for longer duration study of the safety and efficacy of tildacerfont in adults 18+.
If you are age 12+ and diagnosed with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, we invite you to join our Natural History Study and Registry.
The CAH Natural History Study's mission is to learn more about CAH so researchers can work to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with CAH, and to provide hope through the promise of new treatments.Learn More