Post Creator: Rosie Bartley

Pioneering Relief: Changing Lives and Healthcare with David Katz & Robert Jacks, Sparrow Pharmaceuticals

By ICR | Podcast

Sometimes abstract thinking that can lead to real breakthroughs. The knowledge and innovative thinking of today’s guests led to an life-changing solution to an ongoing 75-year puzzle.

Today we sit down with David Katz and Robert Jacks; Chief Scientific Officer, and President & CEO, of Sparrow Pharmaceuticals, respectively. Sparrow has come up with a groundbreaking way to help patients who need steroid treatments.

Robert was previously President & CEO of Indalo Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech company developing therapeutics for serious fibrotic diseases, and President, CFO, and Co-Founder of Symbiomix Therapeutics, which was sold after achieving NDA approval for Solosec®. Robert began his career in finance and product development at Pfizer, where he last worked as the Director of Business Development for Oncology and Infectious Diseases.

Prior to Sparrow, David Katz was a pharmaceutical R&D leader at Abbott and AbbVie, where he led clinical development and drug discovery teams, and was a personalized medicine pioneer. David is dedicated to the mentorship of the next generation of life sciences entrepreneurs, currently as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Oregon Health & Science University. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed scientific papers.


  • David explains Sparrow’s key focus, and they problem they are solving (2:35)
  • How Sparrow planned for the economics of developing a new treatment (4:59)
  • Robert explains why he jumped on board at Sparrow (7:21)
  • David talks about his background, mentors, and interests in the field (8:36)
  • David explains the 75-year puzzle of glucocorticoids (14:15)
  • How Sparrow’s SPI-62 treatment can change a patient’s life, and how it’s a novel approach (16:54)
  • Sparrow’s current clinical trials (20:04)
  • Sparrow’s strategic partners (21:39)
  • Why an investor would be attracted to Sparrow now (22:51)
  • Managing being on 2 different coasts, and how they attract talent (23:53)
  • The businesses/leaders that David admires (25:22)
  • David talks about his passion for both art and science (26:33)
  • Robert discusses Sparrow’s unique value proposition (27:37)


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