A Team Dedicated to Finding New Ways to Treat Rare Endocrine Disorders

Mike Grey

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.

Michael Huang, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Huang has over a decade of clinical research experience spanning all phases of drug development. Prior to joining Spruce, Dr. Huang’s leadership in drug development resulted in several successful drug approvals across an array of therapeutic areas including indications in rare (orphan) diseases. Most recently, Dr. Huang served as Vice President of Clinical Development at Regulus Therapeutics and Vice President of Clinical Development at Auspex Pharmaceuticals, until its acquisition by Teva. Earlier in this career, Dr. Huang held positions of increasing responsibility at Spectrum Pharmaceuticals and Santarus until its acquisition by Salix. Dr. Huang holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a medical doctorate degree from the Chicago Medical School, and post-graduate medical training at the University of California, Irvine – Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.

David Moriarty, PhD

Vice President of Development Operations

Dr. Moriarty joins Spruce with 18 years of clinical industry experience. Prior to joining Spruce, Dr. Moriarty served as Vice President of Clinical Operations and Data Management at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, where he assembled a successful clinical operations, data management and strategic outsourcing team delivering multiple submissions in hematology/oncology and sleep medicine, leading to approvals for Defitelio and Vxyeos. Before Jazz, he was responsible for leading clinical operations in different Janssen Pharmaceutical Alzheimer’s Disease late development clinical programs over several years. Earlier at Janssen, formerly Tibotec Therapeutics, he held clinical operations roles leading to the approved HIV therapies of Prezista and Edurant. Dr. Moriarty also previously held positions of increasing responsibility at PPD, a global CRO, working primarily on the late development work of Humira for Abbott Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Moriarty earned a B.Sc. in Neuroscience from University of Central Lancashire and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Manchester.

Sangita Ghosh, PhD

Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development and Manufacturing

Dr. Ghosh comes to Spruce with 18 years of drug development experience. At Spruce she is responsible for pharmaceutical development, manufacturing, and supply chain. Dr. Ghosh’s experience spans all phases of drug development and includes FDA regulatory approval of Gocovri, Intermezzo and other drugs. Prior to joining Spruce in 2018, Dr. Ghosh served as Vice President at Adamas Pharmaceuticals, prior to which, she had leadership roles at Transcept Pharmaceuticals and Anthera Pharmaceuticals. She started drug development at ALZA Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson Company. Dr. Ghosh conducted post-doctoral researcher at University of Florida and Universite Louis Pasteur at Strasbourg. She earned her Ph.D. in molecular biophysics and synthetic organic chemistry from IISc Bangalore, and her M.Sc. degree in chemistry from IIT Kanpur. 

Kathy Powell, MS


Ms. Powell joins Spruce with over 28 years of experience in Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) and Quality management.  She has held related management positions at Genentech, Covance Biotechnology Services, Inc. and Raptor Pharmaceutical, Inc.  In a consulting capacity, Kathy has served as the acting head of CMC and Quality functions in over ten organizations covering development through commercial manufacturing operations.


Lisa Koch-Hulle, RAC

Regulatory Affairs

Ms. Koch-Hulle has more than 25 years of regulatory affairs experience across multiple therapeutic areas and all stages of drug development, with approximately 15 years at the senior management level.  Prior to Spruce, Ms. Koch-Hulle most recently held the position of Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Operations at Light Sciences Oncology, and prior to that held the same position at La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company.  Ms. Koch-Hulle has also served as a regulatory consultant to the pharmaceutical industry.  Ms. Koch-Hulle holds regulatory certifications in US, European, and Global regulatory affairs, and is a former Chair of the RAPS European Certification Committee.

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+.
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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.

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Spruce Biosciences is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel therapies for rare endocrine disorders. We are leveraging our extensive expertise in endocrinology and orphan drug development to meet the significant unmet need of patients suffering from these diseases. We are committed to transforming the quality of life for patients who have been underserved by scientific innovation.