Our Executive Team

Jose Rocca, R.Ph., Ph.D., Founder/CEO – Research & Development

Jose G. Rocca, R.Ph., Ph.D. is the Founder & CEO of Solara Labs and has over 25 years of formulation development expertise specializing in novel delivery technologies.

Prior to launching Solara, Dr. Rocca served at Kos Pharmaceuticals and was instrumental in the development of the FDA regulatory submission of several niacin formulations to support improved therapeutic efficacy and management of cardiovascular diseases.  In particular, he led the Niaspan® formulation development team from inception to establishment of a first rate preclinical product and development of new intellectual property.  These efforts combined with the commercialization of Niaspan® were followed by the acquisition of Kos by Abbott Laboratories.

In 2007 he launched Solara to bring a novel pharmaceutical technology to the nutraceutical market. Solaria’s proprietary “fast-melt” technology was the first of its kind in the nutraceutical market and appeared in its own branded line of EZ Melts® which now comprises over 30 products.

This technology is just one of several proprietary applications found in products created for Solara customers and include multivitamin and single-ingredient fast-melt formulations, protein and amino blends, and customized botanical formulations in fast-melt, capsule, and bulk-powder formats. Since the company’s inception, Dr. Rocca and his team have formulated and manufactured customized products for a range of leading brands which represent over $100M in combined sales to consumers.

He has filed 12+ patents (7 issued) for formulation of delivery technologies and pharmaceutical compositions and has authored and presented numerous drug delivery works here in the U.S. and internationally. In addition to Niaspan®, Dr. Rocca was instrumental in the FDA regulatory submission for two other cardiovascular niacin formulations, Advicor and Simcor. With all three products he led the product development team from inception to the establishment of a preclinical product development and formulation laboratory, generating new intellectual property for Kos’ in-line products.

His involvement in academia and industry also includes: membership of the Controlled Release Society and American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists; serving as an Adjunct Professor of Pharmaceutics at the College of Pharmacy at Nova Southeastern University (NSU); and membership of the Scientific Advisory Board of several nutraceutical and pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Rocca attends multiple industry conferences each year to identify consumer trends and incorporate new technologies into Solara’s R&D and manufacturing capabilities.

He is a licensed pharmacist, having obtained a B.S. in Pharmacy and a Ph.D in Industrial Pharmacy, both from the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Tim Berthold, Marketing & Business Development

Tim joined the natural products industry in 2011 after a career consulting to Fortune 100 companies while at McKinsey & Company.

His first role was in strategy at ChromaDex, helping to launch the company’s first branded line which achieved natural distribution prior to being acquired. Later, he led the in-licensing of technology and early manufacturing scale-up for the ingredient NIAGEN®, a branded form of the NAD+ precursor nicotinamide riboside.

During these early years in the industry Tim connected with Dr. Rocca and gained an appreciation for Solara’s expertise in developing unique delivery systems for nutraceutical applications.

He joined the team in 2013, first leading the launch of BariMelts®, a line of supplements specially designed for patients having undergone Bariatric procedures (weight loss surgery). His latest efforts include launching the Renzo’s line of children’s vitamins. The brand’s “Melty Tabs” are a new option for parents who want to supplement their children’s nutrient intake without the downsides of sugary gummy vitamins.

He also supports Solara’s business development efforts, securing supply and licensing agreements with companies ranging from upstart brands to the consumer divisions of top pharmaceutical companies. His broad experience across the industry’s value chain provides an added resource to the boutique portfolio of customers using Solara’s expertise.

Tim is a U.S. Navy veteran, having led overseas missions as a Lieutenant on an Fast-Attack submarine following 9/11. Prior to leaving the Navy he earned the title of Nuclear Engineer Officer by the Naval Reactors division of the Department of Energy, qualifying him to head an 80-man submarine engineering department operating $300MM in nuclear propulsion technology.

He has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

David Mastropietro, Quality Control

Dr. David Mastropietro has over 18 years of experience in pharmacy, 4 years in academic research, and 6 years in the development, testing, and manufacturing of medications and dietary supplements. He also brings in-depth knowledge of nutraceutical regulations to his role overseeing Solara’s’ Quality Control department to meet and exceed regulatory standards.

With the current trend towards unique dietary products and enhanced regulations in the nutraceuticals market, we are happy to have Dr. Mastropietro as part of our professional and experienced executive team.

Dr. Mastropietro received his B.S. in Pharmacy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and a Ph.D. in Drug Development (Pharmaceutics) from Nova Southeastern University. He has authored and co-authored over 20 peer-reviewed publications, 3 Book Chapters, and presented several presentations regarding his work.

From his academic research efforts, his name also appears in 6 U.S. patent applications and 2 international PCT applications. He currently holds an academic appointment teaching pharmaceutical sciences to graduate students and facilitates training for pharmacists learning the art and science of preparing personalized medications through pharmacy compounding.