Aristea Therapeutics Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board

September 12, 2019

PR Newswire, San Diego – September 12, 2019 – Aristea Therapeutics (Aristea), a clinical-stage drug development company developing novel therapies to treat serious inflammatory diseases, today announced the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), which is comprised of industry experts in inflammatory and dermatological disease drug development. The SAB will work closely with Aristea’s leadership to advance its lead therapeutic, RIST4721, for patients with palmoplantar pustulosis (PPP), a rare, chronic inflammatory skin condition with no approved therapy in the United States. The SAB will also assist the Aristea management team with the planned development of additional indications for RIST4721 and the expansion and subsequent development of the Aristea portfolio.

“We are privileged to work with Brian, Jay, Michael and Camilla to bring a novel therapeutic treatment to patients suffering from the debilitating effects of PPP,” said Dr James Mackay, President and CEO of Aristea Therapeutics. “These recognized leaders bring a great understanding of inflammatory and dermatological diseases, as well as deep expertise in the development and commercialization of many important drugs. We look forward to their contributions as we advance RIST4721 through Phase 2 and with other assets that we add to the Aristea portfolio as we continue to grow our company.”

Aristea’s SAB is comprised of the following four members:

Brian Kotzin, M.D., Chair of Aristea’s SAB, is a board-certified rheumatologist and internist with more than three decades of experience in the fields of inflammation and immunology in academia and industry. Currently, Dr. Kotzin is Senior Vice President, Clinical Development at Nektar Therapeutics, Inc. Before Nektar, Dr. Kotzin served as Vice President of Global Clinical Development and Head of the Inflammation Therapeutic Area at Amgen, directing the global development efforts for Amgen’s inflammation product candidates. During his 11 years at Amgen, he also served as Vice President of Medical Sciences, which encompassed early development, biomarker development, and clinical immunology. Prior to his industry career, Dr. Kotzin served as Head of Clinical Immunology in the Department of Medicine and Director of the Autoimmunity Center of Excellence at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. Dr. Kotzin has authored more than 200 publications in medical journals, books and book chapters, and has served on the editorial boards of Arthritis and Rheumatism, The Journal of Immunology and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Dr. Kotzin received a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Southern California and an M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in rheumatology and medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is board certified in rheumatology and internal medicine.

Jay Birnbaum, Ph.D. is a recognized drug development consultant with more than 30 years of experience spanning discovery research, formulation, clinical R&D, regulatory, and marketing. He has been instrumental in the development of numerous dermatology drugs, devices and consumer product brands including Lamisil® antifungal products, Cyclosporine Neoral® and Elidel®, Kybella®, Apligraf®, and Skin Caviar®. Dr. Birnbaum is the co-founder of Hallux, Inc. and was a co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals (acquired by Allergan). Previously, he was Executive Vice President of Global Product Development at Thesan Pharmaceuticals, Vice President, Global Project Management at Novartis/Sandoz and he held several key positions at the Medical and Consumer Products Divisions of American Cyanamid Corporation (Wyeth). He has served as a member of the board of directors of Sonoma Pharmaceuticals, Excaliard Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer), and Hallux, Inc. and the scientific advisory boards of many companies. Dr. Birnbaum received a B.S. degree from Trinity College and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Wisconsin.

Michael Howell, Ph.D., is an experienced immunologist with more than 15 years of experience in the development of immunological, autoimmune and inflammatory disease drugs. He is the designer of translational medicine approaches supporting clinical development, patient stratification, and personal health care strategies for all clinical phases and has been actively involved in numerous regulatory filings including IND, CTA, PMDA, and NDA applications.

Currently, Dr. Howell serves as the Senior Director of Translational Research at Incyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to joining Incyte, Dr. Howell was an assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Allergy and Clinical Immunology at National Jewish Health before transitioning to industry where he has held positions of increasing responsibility at Boehringer Ingelheim, Immune Tolerance Network and MedImmune/AstraZeneca. Throughout his career, Dr. Howell’s research has been highlighted in national and international meetings, publications, and patents for therapeutic interventions and biomarker strategies. Dr. Howell received a B.S. in Biology from Messiah College and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Microbiology and Immunology from the West Virginia University School of Medicine.

Camilla Simpson, MSc, has over two decades of business and strategy experience across a diverse group of organizations in biotech, large pharma and rare disease advocacy. Throughout her career, Ms. Simpson has demonstrated a proven track record in delivering novel products for many rare disease indications to global markets in areas of high unmet medical need. Currently, Ms. Simpson is the Managing Member and President of Rare Strategic, LLC, where she provides global regulatory and product development guidance to rare disease and gene therapy companies. Prior to this, Ms. Simpson held numerous executive leadership positions including SVP, Head of Product Portfolio Development at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. and VP Global Regulatory Strategy Early Development and Business Development at Shire Pharmaceuticals in the United Kingdom. Ms. Simpson serves as an independent member of the board of directors of Spruce Biosciences, Inc. Ms. Simpson received a BSc, Science from National University of Ireland, Galway, a BSc Hons, Chemistry from Kingston University and a MSc with distinction, Analytical Chemistry from Birkbeck College, University of London.

About Aristea Therapeutics
Aristea Therapeutics (Air-iss-tay-uh) is a clinical-stage drug development company developing novel therapies to treat serious inflammatory diseases. The Aristea team is leveraging its broad industry expertise and proven success in drug development to form synergistic partnerships and build a pipeline of novel drugs. Aristea’s lead program, RIST4721, is currently in Phase 2 clinical development. Aristea is headquartered in San Diego, CA. To learn more, please visit


Amy Conrad
Juniper Point