About Aspire

About Aspire


01: Our Story

Aspiration Therapy was developed as a collaboration between three physicians to provide an effective, low-risk method of weight loss for the obese patient. The three physicians, Dr. Sam Klein, Dr. Moshe Shike, and Dr. Steve Solomon, combining expertise in obesity, nutrition, gastroenterology, medical device discovery, and PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) tubes, modified a PEG tube to make it suitable for weight loss purposes. PEG tubes, used for long-term feeding of patients that cannot take in food orally, have been used for 30 years and have an established record of safety.  

Their first patient with the modified tube lost 100% of her excess weight in 2005, and had maintained her weight-loss at five years post-procedure. Based on the success of early patients utilizing the modified PEG tube, Aspire Bariatrics* was formed in 2005 to commercialize the device, resulting in the development of the AspireAssist. Katherine Crothall, Ph.D., Aspire’s President and CEO, joined the Company in November 2010.

02: About the Founders

Dr. Samuel Klein

is the William H. Danforth Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Science and Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, and a leading researcher in obesity, metabolism, and nutrition with more than 300 publications in these fields.

Dr. Moshe Shike

is Attending Physician and Director of Clinical Nutrition at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and a gastroenterologist with extensive expertise in endoscopic enteral access and nutritional therapy.

Dr. Stephen Solomon

is Attending Physician and Chief of Interventional Radiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and is an accomplished interventional radiologist with a long history in medical devices.

Aspire Bariatrics was founded in 2005 by Drs. Klein, Shike, and Solomon.

03: Management Team

Katherine D. Crothall, Ph.D

President, CEO and Chairman of the Board

Kathy joined Aspire as its President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board in November 2010. Prior to Aspire, Kathy was a Principal at Liberty Venture Partners, a venture capital firm located in Philadelphia, from 2006 until November 2010. Prior to Liberty, Kathy was Founder, President, and CEO of Animas Corporation (NASDAQ: PUMP), a leading manufacturer of insulin infusion pumps located in West Chester, PA, from its inception to its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Corporation (NYSE: JNJ) in February 2006. Prior to Animas, Kathy was also the Founder, President, and CEO of two other medical device companies; Luxar Corporation (Seattle, WA) was founded in 1988 and was sold to ESC Medical (NASDAQ: ESCMF), and Laakmann Electro-Optics, founded in 1978, was sold to Johnson & Johnson in 1981. Kathy continued running Laakmann Electro-Optics for five years post-acquisition.

Kathy received her BS from University of Pennsylvania and her PhD from University of Southern California, both in Electrical Engineering. She holds over 20 patents and is the recipient of several awards including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2003 and the Greater Philadelphia Raymond Rafferty Entrepreneurial Excellence Award in 2004. Kathy is a director of Adhezion BioMedical and Xanitos, Inc. She is also an overseer of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

Audrey Finkelstein

Executive VP Sales, Marketing and Clinical Support

Audrey is the Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Clinical Support for Aspire Bariatrics. Since March 2009, she served as Worldwide Vice President of Advocacy and Professional Relations for LifeScan and Animas Corporation, both part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. Prior to that, she was the Executive Vice President of Clinical & Government Affairs for LifeScan and Animas beginning May 2006.

Previously, Audrey was the Executive Vice President - Marketing, Sales, and Clinical Affairs of Animas Corporation from May 2003. From November 1998 to April 2003, she served as the Vice President of Marketing and Clinical Affairs. Prior to this position, Audrey was Director of Clinical Affairs at Luxar Corporation, and subsequently at ESC Medical Systems, which acquired Luxar.

04: Board of Directors