Management

Jesse Shefferman

Co-Founder, C.E.O.

Jesse Shefferman has spent over a decade in the biopharma industry in strategy and financial roles, most of that time spent in the rare and orphan diseases space. Prior to co-founding ArTara, Jesse was Vice President and Head of Business Development at Retrophin Inc. (RTRX) a leading rare diseases company where Jesse was a member of the executive leadership team and led the Business Development team that identified and executed a number of company-defining transactions.

Prior to Retrophin, Jesse was with Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) in Business Development and Corporate Strategy where he focused on the hepatology and rare diseases sectors. Jesse was previously an investment banker with Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers where he focused on providing strategic and financial advice to management teams and boards of directors of biopharmaceutical companies.

Jesse holds an MBA and certificate in health sector management from Duke University and a BA in Accounting from Gordon College.

Jesse Shefferman

Jesse Shefferman

Co-Founder, C.E.O.

Jesse Shefferman has spent over a decade in the biopharma industry in strategy and financial roles, most of that time focused on rare and orphan diseases. Prior to co-founding ArTara, Jesse was Vice President and Head of Business Development at Retrophin Inc. (RTRX) a leading rare diseases company where Jesse was a member of the executive leadership team and led the team that identified and executed a number of company-defining transactions.

Prior to Retrophin, Jesse was with Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) in Business Development and Corporate Strategy where he focused on the hepatology and rare diseases sectors. Jesse was previously an investment banker with Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers where he focused on providing strategic and financial advice to management teams and boardsb of directors of biopharmaceutical companies.

Jesse holds an MBA and certificate in health sector management from Duke University and a BA in Accounting from Gordon College.

Co-Founder, C.E.O.

Jacqueline Zummo, PhD, MPH, MBA

VP, Research Operations

Dr. Zummo has over 15 years of experience in senior leadership roles in the biopharma industry, with a strong track record of streamlining clinical development programs and driving successful regulatory outcomes. In addition to her work in clinical development, Dr. Zummo has been instrumental in the launch and commercialization of multiple products through strategic relationship building with KOLs, generating HEOR analytics, and communicating real-world value to managed care organizations.

Prior to joining ArTara Dr. Zummo was Assistant Vice President, Medical Affairs at Vyera, with prior clinical development, operations and medical affairs roles at Alkermes (ALKS), Sepracor/Sunovion and Wyeth/Pfizer (PFE).

Jacqueline Zummo, PhD, MPH, MBA

Jacqueline Zummo, PhD, MPH, MBA

VP, Research Operations

Dr. Zummo has over 15 years of experience in senior leadership roles in the biopharma industry, with a strong track record of streamlining clinical development programs and driving successful regulatory outcomes. In addition to her work in clinical development, Dr. Zummo has been instrumental in the launch and commercialization of multiple products through strategic relationship building with KOLs, generating HEOR analytics, and communicating real-world value to managed care organizations.

Prior to joining ArTara Dr. Zummo was Assistant Vice President, Medical Affairs at Vyera, with prior clinical development, operations and medical affairs roles at Alkermes (ALKS), Sepracor/Sunovion and Wyeth/Pfizer (PFE).

SVP, Research and Development Operations

Julio Casoy, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Casoy brings over 35 years of experience in both development and commercialization expertise to ArTara.

Dr. Casoy has built and led multidisciplinary teams for small molecules and biologics in therapeutic areas including neurology, psychiatry, women’s health, and rheumatology. He has been involved in several global, integrated drug development programs resulting in the approvals of more than twenty products including Enbrel and Effexor. Dr Casoy has specific rare diseases experience, where he played a pivotal role in the research and development of several compound including Gaucher Disease, ALS and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Dr. Casoy has previously held senior leadership positions in Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at Wyeth, Shire, Sepracor/Sunovion, and Alkermes. Prior to joining ArTara, Dr. Casoy was the Chief Medical Officer of InClinica, a global clinical research organization focused on early development.

Julio Casoy, MD

Julio Casoy, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Casoy brings over 35 years of experience in both development and commercialization expertise to ArTara.

Dr. Casoy has built and led multidisciplinary teams for small molecules and biologics in therapeutic areas including neurology, psychiatry, women’s health, and rheumatology. He has been involved in several global, integrated drug development programs resulting in the approvals of more than twenty products including Enbrel and Effexor. Dr Casoy has specific rare diseases experience, where he played a pivotal role in the research and development of several compound including Gaucher Disease, ALS and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Dr. Casoy has previously held senior leadership positions in Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at Wyeth, Shire, Sepracor/Sunovion, and Alkermes. Prior to joining ArTara, Dr. Casoy was the Chief Medical Officer of InClinica, a global clinical research organization focused on early development.

Chief Medical Officer

Blaine Davis

Chief Financial Officer 

Mr. Davis has served as Artara’s Chief Financial Officer since February 2020 and brings more than 20 years of experience in investor relations, corporate affairs, and sales and marketing at life sciences companies focused on rare diseases. Prior to joining Artara, Blaine served as Vice President, Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications at Insmed (INSM) starting in July 2017. Previously, Blaine held multiple executive leadership positions at Endo International, including Senior Vice President and General Manager, Specialty Pharmaceuticals; President of Endo Ventures; and Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. Prior to Endo, Blaine held positions in corporate and business development and investor relations at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Blaine holds a B.A. in biology and psychology with a minor in economics from Middlebury College.

Blaine Davis

Blaine Davis

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Davis has served as Artara’s Chief Financial Officer since February 2020 and brings more than 20 years of experience in investor relations, corporate affairs, and sales and marketing at life sciences companies focused on rare diseases. Prior to joining Artara, Blaine served as Vice President, Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications at Insmed (INSM) starting in July 2017. Previously, Blaine held multiple executive leadership positions at Endo International, including Senior Vice President and General Manager, Specialty Pharmaceuticals; President of Endo Ventures; and Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. Prior to Endo, Blaine held positions in corporate and business development and investor relations at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Blaine holds a B.A. in biology and psychology with a minor in economics from Middlebury College.

Chief Financial Officer

What’s in a name?

ArTara is an abbreviation of the name Arya Tara, given to the only female form of the Buddha. Arya Tara represents the virtues of health, healing and compassion. 

We believe Arya Tara reflects our personal and corporate aspirations to fully support patients with rare diseases. Additionally, Arya Tara represents our view that only by reflecting the diversity that characterizes our world can we truly understand and treat rare diseases which often know no boundaries of age, gender, race, religion or socioeconomic background. 

Board of Directors

Luke Beshar

Chairman

  • • Luke Beshar was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of NPS Pharmaceuticals, a global biopharmaceutical Company, from 2007 to 2015
  • • He is the former Chief Financial Officer of various public and private companies and has more than 30 years of general and financial management experience
  • • Mr. Beshar served as Chief Financial Officer of Cambrex Corp. from 2002 to 2007 and previously as Chief Financial Officer at Dendrite Int’l., a provider of services to the life sciences industry
  • • Mr. Beshar began his career with Arthur Andersen & Co. in 1980 and is a CPA. He holds a B.S. degree in Accounting and Finance from Michigan State University and is a graduate of The Executive Program at the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia
  • • Mr. Beshar is currently a Director of REGENXBIO (NASDAQ RGNX); and a Director of Trillium Therapeutics (NASDAQ TRIL)

Luke Beshar

Luke Beshar

Chairman

  • • Luke Beshar was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of NPS Pharmaceuticals, a global biopharmaceutical Company, from 2007 to 2015
  • • He is the former Chief Financial Officer of various public and private companies and has more than 30 years of general and financial management experience
  • • Mr. Beshar served as Chief Financial Officer of Cambrex Corp. from 2002 to 2007 and previously as Chief Financial Officer at Dendrite Int’l., a provider of services to the life sciences industry
  • • Mr. Beshar began his career with Arthur Andersen & Co. in 1980 and is a CPA. He holds a B.S. degree in Accounting and Finance from Michigan State University and is a graduate of The Executive Program at the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia
  • • Mr. Beshar is currently a Director of REGENXBIO (NASDAQ RGNX); and a Director of Trillium Therapeutics (NASDAQ TRIL)

Michael Solomon, PhD

Series A Director

  • • Dr. Solomon is a Venture Partner at SV Health Investors and has over 20 years experience in the biotech industry, the last 14 focused on creating and operating early stage companies
  • • Dr. Solomon serves as CEO of Ribometrix, a company focused on targeting RNA with small molecules
  • • Most recently he was COO at Decibel Therapeutics, a biotech focused on hearing disorders where he led the creation of Decibel’s business plan and capital raise of $52mm
  • • Previously, he was COO at Ember Therapeutics and CBO at Link Medicine, a CNS company that was sold to Astra Zeneca
  • • Dr. Solomon was a founder and VP of Discovery at Epizyme Therapeutics and VP of Discovery at Hypnion, Inc a sleep disorder company that was sold to Lilly in 2007 for $325 million
  • • He began his career at Millennium Pharma, where he was project leader for multiple programs
  • • Dr. Solomon holds a BS, Chemistry from UMass Amherst; PhD, Organic Chemistry, University of Wisconsin and completed postdoctoral work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Scripps

Michael Solomon, PhD

Michael Solomon, PhD

Series A Director

  • • Dr. Solomon is a Venture Partner at SV Health Investors and has over 20 years experience in the biotech industry, the last 14 focused on creating and operating early stage companies
  • • Dr. Solomon serves as CEO of Ribometrix, a company focused on targeting RNA with small molecules
  • • Most recently he was COO at Decibel Therapeutics, a biotech focused on hearing disorders where he led the creation of Decibel’s business plan and capital raise of $52mm
  • • Previously, he was COO at Ember Therapeutics and CBO at Link Medicine, a CNS company that was sold to Astra Zeneca
  • • Dr. Solomon was a founder and VP of Discovery at Epizyme Therapeutics and VP of Discovery at Hypnion, Inc a sleep disorder company that was sold to Lilly in 2007 for $325 million
  • • He began his career at Millennium Pharma, where he was project leader for multiple programs
  • • Dr. Solomon holds a BS, Chemistry from UMass Amherst; PhD, Organic Chemistry, University of Wisconsin and completed postdoctoral work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Scripps

Scott Braunstein MD

• Dr. Braunstein serves as an Operating Partner at Aisling Capital, a leading life sciences investment Firm
• Dr. Braunstein Served as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, and Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development at Pacira Pharmaceuticals from 2015 to 2018
• Prior to Pacira, Dr. Braunstein spent 12 years as a Healthcare Analyst and Portfolio Manager at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, where he invested in and conducted diligence on a wide variety of pharmaceutical products and product candidates
• Dr. Braunstein serves as a Director of Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ ESPR), STAT Medical, Trevena, Inc., Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ziopharm Oncology, Inc., SiteOne Therapeutics, Inc. and the Cornell Alumni Association for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
• Dr. Braunstein received his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at Cornell University-New York Hospital. He received his BS from Cornell University

Scott Braunstein, MD

Scott Braunstein, MD

• Dr. Braunstein serves as an Operating Partner at Aisling Capital, a leading life sciences investment Firm
• Dr. Braunstein Served as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, and Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development at Pacira Pharmaceuticals from 2015 to 2018
• Prior to Pacira, Dr. Braunstein spent 12 years as a Healthcare Analyst and Portfolio Manager at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, where he invested in and conducted diligence on a wide variety of pharmaceutical products and product candidates
• Dr. Braunstein serves as a Director of Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ ESPR), STAT Medical, Trevena, Inc., Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ziopharm Oncology, Inc., SiteOne Therapeutics, Inc. and the Cornell Alumni Association for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
• Dr. Braunstein received his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at Cornell University-New York Hospital. He received his BS from Cornell University

Roger Garceau, MD

  • • Dr. Garceau Garceau has more than 30 years of broad pharmaceutical industry in drugs, biologics and combination drug/device products for orphan and non-orphan indications, both in US and Internationally.
  • • Dr. Garceau served as Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since December 2008 and January 2013 respectively, until February 2015, when NPS Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Shire plc.
  • • At NPS he led two successful orphan products through filing, Advisory Committees and registrations. Previously, he served in several managerial positions with NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Sanofi-aventis and Pharmacia Corporation.
  • • Dr. Garceau has been a non-executive director of Enterome SA since December 2016 and Entera Bio since March 2016.
  • • Dr. Garceau is a board-certified pediatrician and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He holds a BS in Biology from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut and an MD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Roger Garceau, MD

Roger Garceau, MD

  • • Dr. Garceau has more than 30 years of broad pharmaceutical industry in drugs, biologics and combination drug/device products for orphan and non-orphan indications, both in US and Internationally.
  • • Dr. Garceau served as Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since December 2008 and January 2013 respectively, until February 2015, when NPS Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Shire plc.
  • • At NPS he led two successful orphan products through filing, Advisory Committees and registrations. Previously, he served in several managerial positions with NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Sanofi-aventis and Pharmacia Corporation.
  • • Dr. Garceau has been a non-executive director of Enterome SA since December 2016 and Entera Bio since March 2016.
  • • Dr. Garceau is a board-certified pediatrician and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He holds a BS in Biology from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut and an MD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Richard Levy, MD

Dr. Richard Levy has served on Artara’s board of directors since December 2019 and has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. Dr. Levy currently serves on the boards of directors of various biopharmaceutical companies, including Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (MDGL), Kodiak Sciences, Inc. (KOD) and Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (KNSA). Additionally, Dr. Levy recently served as a part-time Senior Advisor for Baker Bros. Advisors, L.P. Prior to Dr. Levy’s board experience, he held an array of executive positions in the pharmaceutical industry, including  in drug development, regulatory affairs and pharmacovigilance, clinical research, as well as medical and commercial strategy. Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Drug Development Officer at Incyte from January 2009 until he retired in April 2016. His extensive industry experience includes positions at Celgene Corporation, DuPont Pharmaceuticals Company, Sandoz and Novartis. Dr. Levy holds a B.A. in biology from Brown University and an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.  He completed his training in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Richard Levy, MD

Richard Levy, MD

Dr. Richard Levy has served on Artara’s board of directors since December 2019 and has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. Dr. Levy currently serves on the boards of directors of various biopharmaceutical companies, including Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (MDGL), Kodiak Sciences, Inc. (KOD) and Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (KNSA). Additionally, Dr. Levy recently served as a part-time Senior Advisor for Baker Bros. Advisors, L.P. Prior to Dr. Levy’s board experience, he held an array of executive positions in the pharmaceutical industry, including  in drug development, regulatory affairs and pharmacovigilance, clinical research, as well as medical and commercial strategy. Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Drug Development Officer at Incyte from January 2009 until he retired in April 2016. His extensive industry experience includes positions at Celgene Corporation, DuPont Pharmaceuticals Company, Sandoz and Novartis. Dr. Levy holds a B.A. in biology from Brown University and an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.  He completed his training in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Greg Sargen

Greg Sargen has served on Artara’s board of directors since November 2019 and is a licensed CPA (inactive) with extensive experience working within the healthcare industry. Mr. Sargen currently serves as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Cambrex Corporation. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Expanets, Inc., and Vice President of Finance – Chemicals Manufacturing Division at Fisher Scientific International Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Sargen held senior positions with Merck & Co., Inc., Heat and Control, Inc. and Deloitte & Touche LLP. His board experience includes his current role as a director of Avid Bioservices. Mr. Sargen holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA in finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Greg Sargen

Greg Sargen

Greg Sargen has served on Artara’s board of directors since November 2019 and is a licensed CPA (inactive) with extensive experience working within the healthcare industry. Mr. Sargen currently serves as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Cambrex Corporation. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Expanets, Inc., and Vice President of Finance – Chemicals Manufacturing Division at Fisher Scientific International Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Sargen held senior positions with Merck & Co., Inc., Heat and Control, Inc. and Deloitte & Touche LLP. His board experience includes his current role as a director of Avid Bioservices. Mr. Sargen holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA in finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.