James Sapirstein, R.Ph., brings over thirty years of pharmaceutical industry experience to Contravir. After beginning his career in 1984 as a sales representative with Eli Lilly, he accepted a position at Hoffmann-LaRoche in 1987, where he served for almost a decade as part of its sales and marketing teams. He held a number of positions at Hoffmann-LaRoche, including Product Director and International Operations Manager, and was actively involved with numerous product launches including several antivirals. In 1996, he became the Director of International Marketing of the Infectious Disease Division at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS). Mr. Sapirstein directed the international HIV product marketing strategy at BMS and was an integral part of the international development and launch of a number of infectious disease products while at BMS.
More recently, Mr. Sapirstein has become known in the industry as a start-up and turnaround specialist, mainly for his work at Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD), Serono Laboratories, Inc., Tobira Therapeutics, Inc. and Alliqua Inc. (ALQA). Mr. Sapirstein served in the Global Marketing group at Gilead, beginning in 2000 where he led and developed the global marketing strategy for its flagship HIV drug, Viread. He played a key role in the development of the drug combination strategy that resulted in Gilead’s acquisition of Triangle’s nucleoside portfolio. That acquisition ultimately led to the launch of Truvada, Gilead’s multi-billion dollar combination HIV drug. In 2002, he accepted the position of Executive Vice President for Serono Laboratories where he led a team of over 100 professionals to rebuild a struggling HIV and pediatric growth hormone business. As CEO of privately held Tobira Therapeutics, a New Jersey based biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel HIV and infectious disease compounds, he was instrumental in helping to raise over $60 million in venture capital and research funding to enable Tobira to further its scientific development. As a result of those efforts, he was named one of New Jersey’s top 50 most influential people in healthcare in 2010 by NJBiz.com. Most recently, Mr. Sapirstein was CEO of Alliqua Therapeutics at Alliqua Inc., where he helped lead the transformation of transdermal wound care and drug delivery technology into a premier wound care organization. Mr. Sapirstein developed the growth strategies for the organization and was responsible for several key licensing opportunities which lead to an increased return on investment for all of the shareholders.