It is not often I meet my interview subject in the elevator on the way to our meeting room. By the time we get to the right floor, Alexis Howerton, the founding CEO of Spruce Biosciences, has recognized me from a photo and introduced herself, and we have already started the conversation. Our meeting was set only a day or so before we both attended this industry event, and I come knowing next to nothing about Spruce or its lead drug candidate, SPR001, now in midstage development for treating congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH).
The program is a revival for an older drug class, which had once raised hopes as a possible source of blockbusters, but failed in the targeted indications. (Regulatory records give the chemical name, which would be several lines long here.) Howerton saw other potential for the class and jumped feet first into obtaining the ideal candidate compound and starting a company to develop it.