James Sapirstein, MBA
President, Chairman, and CEO, First Wave BioPharma, Inc.
Mr. Sapirstein has served for over thirty-nine years in the pharmaceutical industry. After spending seventeen years in large Pharma companies, Mr. Sapirstein started his career in smaller biotech companies when he later joined Gilead Sciences, Inc. to lead the Global Marketing team in its launch of Viread (tenofovir). In 2002, he accepted the position of Executive VP, Metabolic and Endocrinology, for Serono Laboratories. In 2006, he became the founding CEO of Tobira Therapeutics. Tobira Therapeutics was acquired by Allergan in 2016. In 2012, Mr. Sapirstein became the CEO of Alliqua, Inc. Thereafter, he served as CEO of Contravir Pharmaceuticals from March 2014 until October 2018. He was named as a Finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2015 and 2016. Mr. Sapirstein currently holds board positions on Renovaro Biosciences, ZyVersa Therapeutics and Blue Water Biotech. He was Chairman of the Board for BioNJ, from February 2017 to February 2019. He is a member of the Board of Directors for BIO (Biotechnology Innovation Organization) where he sits on the Emerging Companies Section Governing Board and Health Section Board. Mr. Sapirstein received a BS (Pharmacy) from Rutgers University and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University.