Joseph La Barge, J.D.

    Joe La Barge
    Joseph La Barge, J.D.
    Chief Legal Officer
    Joe La Barge is a seasoned executive and legal advisor with more than 15 years of experience counseling life science companies and healthcare institutions. Before joining Spark Therapeutics, Joe was vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer at Tengion, Inc., a clinical-stage regenerative medicine company, where he oversaw legal affairs, compliance and quality assurance. While at Tengion, Joe helped lead the company’s initial public offering in 2010. Joe also played an integral role in developing Tengion’s intellectual property strategies for their novel, first-in-class, cell-based therapies.

    Joe was previously of counsel at Ballard Spahr LLP in Philadelphia, where he advised biotechnology companies in private and public financings, mergers and acquisitions, and collaboration and licensing transactions. He also served as deputy general counsel to the Kennedy Health System in New Jersey.

    Joe received his J.D. from Temple University and a B.A. from Bucknell University.

    Steven Altschuler

    Steven Altschuler
    Steven M. Altschuler M.D.
    Senior Vice President of Health Affairs, University of Miami CEO, UHealth-University of Miami Health System

    Dr. Steven M. Altschuler, is Senior Vice President of Health Affairs at the University of Miami and Chief Executive Officer of UHealth-University of Miami Health System. He was named to the position in November 2015.

    Steve is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of the University’s clinical delivery system, which includes the University’s hospitals, faculty practice plan and clinics. As South Florida’s only academic-based health system, UHealth combines patient care, research and education to create a leading-edge, precision medicine approach to health care. UHealth’s comprehensive network includes three hospitals: Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only Cancer Center of Excellence in South Florida, as designated by the state; University of Miami Hospital, the flagship hospital of UHealth; and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, which has been recognized as the nation’s No. 1 eye hospital for 12 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report.

    In addition, UHealth has more than a dozen outpatient facilities in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Collier counties; a new Bascom Palmer eye clinic in Naples, on Florida’s Gulf Coast; and a 200,000-square-foot ambulatory care facility, currently under construction, that will open on the University’s Coral Gables main campus in late 2016.

    Previously, Steve was the CEO of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the nation’s oldest hospital dedicated to the care of sick children. Children’s Hospital’s Board of Trustees elected him to his position in April 2000, after an intensive international search. Prior to assuming this role, he was the Physician-in-Chief and the first holder of the Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Endowed Chair in Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Altschuler took the reins of the now 527-bed hospital, at the initiation of the greatest period of growth in the institution’s 159-year history. CHOP has been ranked the nation’s No. 1 or 2 children’s hospital since 2000 by U.S. News & World Report.

    Steve received his B.A. in mathematics and his M.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. His pediatric internship and residency were taken at Children’s Hospital Medical Center-Boston, and he completed fellowship training in Gastroenterology and Nutrition at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. From 1985 to 2000, he was a faculty member of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His academic interests were focused in the area of gastrointestinal motility and included the leadership of a large clinical program, an NIH-funded research laboratory and a fellowship training program. He is a frequent guest lecturer locally, nationally and internationally.

    Currently, Steve serves on the boards of Mead Johnson Nutritionals, Weight Watchers and Spark Therapeutics.

    Independent Director

    John Furey

      jhon furey photo
      John Furey
      Chief Operating Officer
      John Furey is responsible for global commercial operations, medical affairs, technology development and technical operations at Spark Therapeutics. He has 25 years of experience in developing and implementing operational strategies and leading commercial and technical teams.

      Prior to joining Spark Therapeutics, John was senior vice president and head of global operations for Baxalta, where he directed manufacturing, quality, engineering, and process development. He actively managed a $2.5 billion production budget across Baxalta's global network and led a first-in-class supply chain organization for rare diseases. John led the team that coordinated and delivered the successful establishment of Baxalta through a spin out from Baxter and led the Baxter Vaccine inline business to realize significant top line and bottom line growth. He also spent two years in China as general manager of Pfizer’s vaccine business unit following a role with responsibility for global pricing and reimbursement at Pfizer Vaccines. In these roles, John gained extensive experience in pipeline development and global product launches. Earlier in his career, he held both commercial and operations positions of increasing scope and responsibility with Pfizer and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

      John has an executive M.B.A. from St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, a B.S. from Trinity College, Dublin, and a diploma in Environmental Health from the Dublin Institute of Technology.

      Daniel R. Faga

        Dan faga photo
        Daniel R. Faga
        Chief Business Officer
        Dan Faga brings more than 15 years of biopharma industry experience to the company. Dan is responsible for Corporate Strategy & Public Affairs at Spark Therapeutics including leadership of the portfolio and new product planning, patient advocacy, business development, alliance management, corporate communications and corporate strategy functions.

        Prior to joining Spark Therapeutics, Dan was a managing director at Centerview Partners, where he served as a founding member of Centerview’s healthcare advisory practice. Primarily focused in the life sciences sector, Dan has extensive expertise in corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and partnering, and he has advised on more than $50 billion in biopharma transactions. Prior to Centerview, Dan worked at Merrill Lynch in its healthcare investment banking group and as a management consultant in the life sciences practice at PRTM.

        Dan earned a B.S. in engineering from Cornell University and an M.B.A. in healthcare management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

        Lota Zoth

        Lota Zoth
        CPA
        Lota Zoth, CPA, has served in senior financial roles in a variety of commercial-stage companies over a 30-year career, including serving as chief financial officer for MedImmune before its acquisition by AstraZeneca in 2007. Prior to joining MedImmune in 2002, Lota served as senior vice president, corporate controller and principal accounting officer at PSINet Inc., vice president, corporate controller and chief accounting officer at Sodexho Marriott Services, Inc., Marriott International and PepsiCo, Inc. Lota was also an auditor at Ernst & Young, LLP and is a Certified Public Accountant. She currently serves on the board of multiple public companies in the biopharmaceutical industry. Lota received a B.B.A. in accounting from Texas Tech University.
        Financial Expert
        Independent Director

        Elliot Sigal, M.D., Ph.D.

        Elliot Sigal, M.D., Ph.D.
        Elliot Sigal, M.D., Ph.D.
        Former Director, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb

        Dr. Elliott Sigal has over 25 years of combined experience in medicine, research and executive management. Most recently, he served as director, executive vice president and chief scientific officer and president of R&D at Bristol-Myers Squibb from 2004 until 2013. Elliott was a principal architect of the company’s successful biopharma transformation strategy, with a focus on innovative therapies for unmet medical needs, and was instrumental in increasing R&D productivity, developing the company’s strategy in biologics and acquiring external innovation in its String of Pearls initiative. Under his leadership, 14 new medicines were brought to market. Elliott previously held positions of increasing responsibility in drug discovery at the pharmaceutical company Syntex and also was vice president of R&D and chief executive officer for the genomics firm Mercator Genetics, where he provided the research leadership that resulted in the discovery of the gene for hemochromatosis, a common disorder that leads to iron overload, diabetes and liver disease.

        Elliott received his M.D. from the University of Chicago and trained in internal medicine and pulmonary medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He received his research training at the Cardiovascular Research Institute at UCSF and served on the faculty of the UCSF department of medicine. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Purdue University. Elliott currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Mead Johnson Nutrition Company, the Melanoma Research Alliance and the University of California San Francisco Nina Ireland Program for Lung Health.

        Independent Director

        Vin Milano

        Vin Milano
        Chief Executive Officer, Idera Pharmaceuticals; Former President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, ViroPharma
        Vin Milano is chief executive officer of Idera Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing nucleic acid therapeutics for cancers and rare diseases. Prior to Idera, Vin was president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors of ViroPharma Incorporated (acquired by Shire Pharmaceuticals in January 2014), which focused on bringing innovative therapies to market for serious, unmet medical needs. ViroPharma’s lead product was Cinryze®, approved and commercially available in the United States, for the prevention of hereditary angioedema attacks and in Europe for both the treatment and prevention of hereditary angioedema attacks, a rare disease. Vin joined the company in 1996 and served as vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer from 1997 to 2006. He was instrumental in building the company, including leading efforts in raising nearly $900 million in capital, as well as the acquisitions of Lev Pharmaceuticals and the drug Vancocin from Eli Lilly. Vin played critical roles in all business development and investor relations activities for ViroPharma and contributed significantly to establishing the strategic focus of the company. Prior to joining ViroPharma, he served as senior manager at KPMG LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm. Vin received his B.S. in accounting from Rider College.
        Independent Director

        Anand Mehra, M.D.

        Anand Mehra, M.D.
        Anand Mehra, M.D.
        General Partner, Sofinnova Ventures

        Dr. Anand Mehra joined Sofinnova Ventures in 2007 and is focused on working with entrepreneurs to build drug development companies that have the power to improve the lives of patients. He has led the firm’s investments in Vicept Therapeutics (acquired by Allergan), Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Aclaris and Prothena, and he played a key role in the firm’s investments in SarCode (acquired by Shire), Preglem (acquired by Gedeon Richter) and Amarin. In addition to Spark Therapeutics, Anand is currently a director of Aerie and Marinus Pharmaceuticals and was on the board of Nextwave Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Pfizer.

        Prior to joining Sofinnova, Anand worked in JP Morgan’s private equity and venture capital group, where he was heavily involved in new investments, management of their public portfolio and the firm’s spin-out from the bank. Before joining the venture community, Anand was a consultant in McKinsey & Company’s pharmaceutical practice, advising pharma and biotech on key strategic issues, and an NIH-funded fellow focused on reperfusion injury in stroke.

        Anand received his M.D. from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia, where he was an Echols Scholar.

        Independent Director

        Jeffrey Marrazzo

          Jeffrey Marrazzo
          Jeffrey D. Marrazzo
          Chief Executive Officer

          Jeff Marrazzo has led the creation and growth of Spark Therapeutics from a research center within the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to a fully integrated, commercial gene therapy company that is challenging the inevitability of genetic disease by discovering, developing and delivering potential treatments in ways unimaginable – until now. He also serves on Spark’s board of directors.

          Under Jeff’s leadership, Spark has received FDA approval for and launched the first gene therapy for a genetic disease in the United States, and has established human proof-of-concept of Spark’s gene therapy platform in both the retina and liver. In the five years since founding Spark, Jeff has secured more than $1 billion in capital and built an organization of more than 325 colleagues. For two years running, Spark has been named to the top 10 of MIT Technology Review’s “50 Smartest Companies”. It’s also been recognized as one of 2018’s most innovative companies in Biotech by Fast Company.

          During a career that has spanned the public and private sectors, Jeff has consistently championed the potential benefits of precision medicine and healthcare reform for patients. Prior to Spark, he helped build the first genetic testing benefit management and pharmacogenomics medicines company up to and through the acquisition of a majority of the company's shares by CVS Caremark. Previously, Jeff served as an advisor to former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, where he led reforms in the financing and delivery of healthcare.

          Jeff currently serves as a board member of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). Jeff received a B.A. in economics and B.S.E. in systems science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a dual M.B.A. / M.P.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, a program which he founded.

          Katherine High, M.D.

            Katherine  High, M.D.
            Katherine A. High, M.D.
            President and Head of Research and Development

            Dr. Kathy High, an accomplished hematologist with a longstanding interest in gene therapy for genetic disease, began her career studying the molecular basis of blood coagulation and the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of bleeding disorders.

            Her pioneering bench-to-bedside studies of gene therapy for hemophilia led to a series of studies that characterized the human immune response to adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors in a variety of target tissues. Kathy’s work has evolved to encompass clinical translation of potential gene therapies for multiple inherited disorders. As the director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Kathy assembled a multidisciplinary team of scientists and researchers working to discover new gene and cell therapies for genetic diseases and to facilitate rapid translation of preclinical discoveries into clinical application.

            As president at Spark Therapeutics, she has led the development and regulatory approval of the first gene therapy for a genetic disease in the United States. Spark has shown human proof-of-concept of its leading gene therapy platform in both the retina and the liver, and has received breakthrough therapy designations for three different therapeutics across two different tissue targets, the eye and the liver. In addition to her operational role, Kathy serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Spark.

            Kathy was a long-time member of the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and of the medical staff at CHOP, where she was also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She served a five-year term on the FDA Advisory Committee on Cell, Tissue and Gene Therapies and is a past president of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT). She received her A.B. in chemistry from Harvard University, an M.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, a business certification from the University of North Carolina Business School Management Institute for Hospital Administrators and an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.