By Stephanie Milam
As Chairman, President, & CEO of First Wave BioPharma, Inc., James Sapirstein understands what is needed to impact an industry. He maintains over thirty years of experience, more than twenty drug launches, and a venture capital portfolio worth billions, leaving little question as to why he was asked to come out of retirement. Under his guidance, First Wave BioPharma, inc. has projected limitless potential in the pharmaceutical market.
Humble and hard-working, he started out as an Argentinian immigrant “pharmacist with an MBA in finance”, but his capabilities reached far beyond any self-ascribed labels. Though continuously compassionate towards the people around him, at his core, Sapirstein is a self-starter. He’s risen through corporate ranks throughout the years, helping companies flourish and grow under his esteemed leadership.
The reason for his profound successes lies within his own distinct path as an entrepreneur. Sapirstein is naturally gifted in the art of connecting with people. He is compassionate, conscientious, and capable, attracting long-standing relationships within his expansive international network.
Part of that network rests on the impenetrable foundation of Sapirstein’s extensive expertise, resiliency, and trustworthiness. Sapirstein has worked hard in every way imaginable to achieve results and grow businesses. Consequently, First Wave BioPharma, Inc., sought his expertise on their work in gastrointestinal (GI) pharmaceutical treatments.
Based in Boca Raton, Florida, they are a research and development company that specializes in “the development of targeted, non-systemic therapies” for digestive illnesses. They pack a large punch for a surprisingly subtle company made up of 9 employees – a majority of which uphold senior positions.
Despite their size, what truly sets First Wave BioPharma, Inc. apart is their well-rounded strengths and professional backgrounds. Every employee of this dedicated company comes from large corporations with experience in biotech, and at least eight years of industry experience. Unlike other companies, they have solid experience with the FDA and know exactly what they’re doing, without needing an entire team to accomplish it. To top it off, their efficiency is simply incomparable, as with a team of “top heavy senior management”, they are able to make vital decisions within minutes.
But unlike any other pharmaceutical company on the market, they offer a product no one else can. What initially drew Sapirstein out of a well-earned retirement was the enticing possibilities of a drug called Adrulipase, which transforms the very foundation upon which pharmaceuticals rest upon. When it comes to GI diseases, particularly cystic fibrosis, the most common treatment is Creon, or Pancrelipase, which is essentially a medicine derived from pig pancreases. Typically, patients who are suffering from cystic fibrosis, alcoholism, or other afflictions will have to take at least 20-40 of these capsules daily, with the understanding that
they will potentially cease to be effective. Given the body’s ability to fight off foreign materials, over time, the success of these medications dwindle or disappear completely.
With Adrulipase, Sapirstein saw an entirely new potential. Adrulipase is instead created from naturally occurring yeast, meaning that it is animal-cruelty-free. Developed in France, this treatment presents patients with the opportunity to let go of the seemingly endless, constant pill-taking that is required of Creon. And they are changing lives because of it.
Adrulipase and its humanized lipase reminded of his work in launching human insulin with endocrinologists, Sapirstein saw the opportunity to continue giving back to the industry alongside this dedicated team, and he returned to the workforce. Together, they fund and run clinical trials in treatments for digestive conditions to reform the market as a whole.
But the most crucial aspect of business for Sapirstein lies behind the scenes. To achieve these groundbreaking successes, there needs to be a financial backing. One made from trust and communication between pharmaceutical developers and investors. The core of his impact on the healthcare industry lies in navigating the interpersonal relationships between medicinal developers and investors. And when it comes to their investments, Sapirstein goes above-and-beyond to instill confidence and produce results. When it comes to making a long-lasting impact in the world of pharmaceuticals, there is no one better than James Sapirstein.