Althea Health is a San Francisco based digital health company. Our goal is to leverage digital technology to empower rare disease patients and communities. Unfortunately 95% of the 7000 rare diseases (with 350 million patients worldwide) have no approved drugs, a terrible status quo for patients, families and society. Althea’s goal is to radically alter this state of affairs and help make rare disease drugs more affordable and available.
History & Mission
Althea’s mission was born out of one of our founder’s personal experience with an undiagnosed condition and the Cystic Fibrosis (a rare disease) diagnosis of a family member. We strive to provide communities dealing with complex health issues the tools to develop collective health insights and join with other like minded individuals, health researchers and pharma companies to accelerate discovery of new cures and standards of care.
Manu has over 20 years of experience in the software industry. Over the last 10 years Manu has worked in various leadership roles in technology startup companies, leading them from conceptual stage to commercial production applications. Prior to founding Althea Health Manu was the acting CIO of Golden gate University. Previous positions include VP of Engineering at ijex.com, Director of Engineering at Cake Financial.
Manu believes that a confluence of new technologies and patient empowerment can drive major change in the rare disease drug development ecosystem.
Manu holds a Master’s degree in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and a Bachelor’s degree in Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
Dr Ajith Puthillath
Dr Ajith Puthillath ( AJ ) is a practicing medical oncologist in the Central Valley area, California. He completed his fellowship from Roswell Park Cancer Center – the oldest cancer center in the US. He has published multiple studies in peer reviewed oncology journals and presented in the American Society of Clinical Oncology meetings.
Dr AJ is also a seasoned angel investor in the health care start up arena. He has a keen interest in treating young patients with colon and breast cancers and will help Althea in teaming with some of the rare oncology disease subgroups.
Dr AJ became interested in Althea after his own struggle with Ankylosing Spondylitis – a immune mediated rheumatological disorder. Despite being in the medical field his disease was undiagnosed for a number of years. He found being part of a social community for AS gave him the know how to deal with difficult to treat symptoms – through patient – patient interactions.
Sanjay has over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He has worked in a variety of leadership roles across different lines of business spanning marketing, product management, sales, professional services, operations and alliances. Prior to co-founding Althea Health, Sanjay was Senior Director of Business Development at MuleSoft. Previous positions include Director of Strategic Alliances at SnapLogic, Alliances executive roles at VMware and as management consultant at Accenture. In particular, Sanjay enjoys the challenge of creating and defining new product categories and is passionate about driving healthcare transformation via the combination of technology and community.
Sanjay earned a MBA from the University of Chicago – Booth School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
Ronnie Sharpe is the founder and Chief Community Servant at CysticLife, an organization that works to positively impact the lives of the cystic fibrosis (CF) community by creating educational materials, providing medical, education and activity grants, and through its social network for the community, CysticLife.org. CysticLife.org is the leading social network for the Cystic Fibrosis community, with over 7500 members. The site provides a central location for the CF community to share tips, questions, ideas, experiences and most of all encouragement.
Ronnie blogs regularly about his daily trials and triumphs on his site RunSickboyRun.com, a positive and inspiring blog describing the life experiences of an adult with cystic fibrosis. Diagnosed with CF at 6 months of age, Mr. Sharpe considers his life a blessing and lives to be a blessing to others by sharing his story and attitude with others. Mr. Sharpe hopes his blog shows other individuals with CF and their families that through a commitment to treatments and exercise we can all be the best version of ourselves. He is a true believer in the power of social media and speaks nationally at health-related conferences about the impact of social media in healthcare.
Conway Reimer is a dynamic executive with nearly 20 years of healthcare experience. Conway has provided consulting services to several healthcare start-ups, with a focus on strategy, marketing, and operational planning. He has also served as the Chief Operations Officer for a multi-site provider of outpatient cardiovascular treatment. Conway also had a 15+ year career with a leading global pharmaceutical manufacturer, where he held senior leadership roles in sales and marketing. Conway led consumer and professional programs encompassing cardiovascular care, men’s health, women’s health, diabetes, and mental health (CNS).
Conway has shown himself to be a transformative healthcare leader, through multiple executive-level roles across Sales, Marketing, and Operations. He has led numerous successful product launches and has consistently demonstrated an ability to align organizational objectives, while balancing the priorities of corporate partnerships and co-promotion agreements. Conway has gained considerable insight into healthcare dynamics, as well as the core challenges of disease management. Conway draws upon this understanding of the healthcare space to provide conceptual clarity to team purpose, while leveraging his broad experience to operationalize strategy and to deliver effective company-wide execution.
Deepak Sapra comes with over 13 years of experience in the pharmaceutical sector, with an extensive understanding of global healthcare markets. He works as Vice President at Dr Reddy’s Laboratories as a Business Head for the Custom Pharma Services business and has worked in a host of Sales, Marketing, Business Development and Portfolio roles in the past. He has been involved in opening up several new markets and has led partnering and collaboration efforts with several companies worldwide.
Deepak is an engineer by training and joined Dr. Reddy’s after completing his Management education from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. He has also been a recipient of the Fulbright and Chevening scholarships granted by the US government and the UK government respectively.
In addition to his professional activities, Deepak has co-founded and runs a not-for-profit organization focused on people with disabilities in rural West Bengal in eastern India.
Mahendra G. Shah, Ph.D. is a highly successful pharmaceutical entrepreneur and executive who has been at Vivo Capital since March 2010. He is also the founder and executive chairman of Semnur Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Shah currently serves as chairman of the board of Essentialis Therapeutics, board member of Biotie Therapies (NASDAQ: BITI), and a member of the board of trustees of St. John’s University. He is also a board member and charter member of EPPIC and a charter member of TIE.
From September 2005 to December 2009, he was the founder, chairman and CEO of NextWave Pharmaceuticals, a pediatric focused specialty pharmaceutical company, which was sold to Pfizer for a total of $700 million in upfront and milestone payments. From 1993 to May 2003 he was the chairman and CEO of First Horizon Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded specialty pharmaceutical company, where he raised over $200 million and built a highly profitable company before it was sold to Shionogi Pharmaceuticals for $1.4 billion. From 1991 to October 1999, he was vice president of E. J. Financial Enterprises, Inc., which manages a fund that invests in healthcare companies. He previously served on the boards of Unimed Pharmaceuticals (UMED), Introgen Therapeutics (INGN), Inpharmakon, Protomed, Structural Bioinformatics, and Zarix.
From 1987 to 1991 he was the senior director of new business development with Fujisawa USA (Astellas). Prior to that time he worked in various scientific and management positions with Schering-Plough and Bristol Myers-Squibb. Dr. Shah received his Ph.D. in industrial pharmacy from St. John’s University and his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Pharmacy from L.M. College of Pharmacy in Gujarat, India.
Christine is a security and privacy professional with over 25 years in the healthcare technology industry. Proficient in providing technical consultancy and advisory services to healthcare startup organizations, Christine has executed security and data privacy due diligence on acquisitions for both equity firms and their portfolio companies, working with those companies through the acquisition process to mitigate identified risks.
As President and Principal Consultant, Christine is responsible for providing advisory and consultant services to healthcare organizations to review their operating environment business policies and processes, assess risks, and develop security and privacy strategies. Her specialty is taking a bare bones or nonexistent security and privacy strategy and building one from the ground up to meet the strict standards of data protection of regulated data and intellectual property. She holds advisory roles with several leading health tech companies.
Selected in 2016 to participate on the HHS Healthcare Industry Cybersecurity Task Force to provide recommendations to Congress in 2017, she also participates on several advisor boards including the El Camino Hospital Board of Director’s Security, Privacy, Compliance & Audit Committee. She is a member of InfraGard, ISSA, ISACA, IAPP and HIMSS.
Steven P Oakes
Steven P. Oakes, PharmD, is a clinical research pharmacist for the Investigational Drug Service Pharmacy at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland (CHRCO). Steven joined CHRCO in 2003 from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) where he conducted clinical research for the Drug Research Unit at San Francisco General Hospital. He completed his Doctor of Pharmacy degree at UCSF in 2002 with an emphasis in clinical research, analytical chemistry and drug development. Prior to attending pharmacy school, he conducted research for the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at Georgetown University, specializing in drug metabolism and pharmacogenetics. He has been a member of the Children’s Hospital IRB and Research Committee since June 2004.
StartUp Health is a new model for helping innovation succeed in the health sector. Part community, part Academy, and 1,000% passion, Startup Health provides health and wellness innovators with a structured curriculum designed to help navigate the unique challenges of building a sustainable growth business. StartUp Health was founded in 2011 by health tech entrepreneurs Steven Krein and Unity Stoakes and is Chaired by former Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin.