Dr. Mackay founded Aristea Therapeutics, a company focused on developing treatments for inflammatory diseases, in 2018. Prior to founding Aristea Therapeutics, James was President & CEO of Ardea Biosciences from 2013 to 2018. Dr. Mackay was instrumental to setting up an innovative model for Ardea Biosciences that retained the biotech’s independence and accountability for the development of the gout franchise whilst also developing a synergistic and collaborative relationship with the parent company, AstraZeneca. This culminated in the US FDA and EMA approvals of the Ardea lead molecule, Zurampic, in late 2015 and early 2016 respectively and the FDA approval of Ardea’s second development molecule DUZALLO in August 2017. Dr. Mackay also led the subsequent successful commercial licensing of Zurampic and DUZALLO to Ironwood (US) and Grunenthal (EU and Latin America).
Prior to joining Ardea Biosciences, Dr. Mackay was Global Product Vice President for Diabetes DPP-IV franchise at AstraZeneca and played a critical role in the successful development of the AstraZeneca/Bristol-Myers Squibb worldwide diabetes alliance. Prior to that he held a number of senior worldwide roles in AstraZeneca’s Clinical Development Function including management of all AstraZeneca Clinical resources and budget worldwide and management of AstraZeneca’s strategic partnerships with drug development CROs.
Dr Mackay has 30 years experience in the industrial chemical, agrochemical, specialty chemical and pharmaceutical business sectors. In his pharmaceutical career he has taken all 6 products that he has worked on successfully to the market and patients.
Dr Mackay has played a pivotal role in the San Diego Ecosystem since his arrival in 2013 and currently sits on the Board and Executive Committee of CONNECT, is Vice-Chair of CONNECT and sits on the Board of BIOCOM. James is a former Board member of the San Diego Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
Dr. Mackay has a BSc in Genetics and PhD in Medical Genetics from Aberdeen University, Scotland.