Developing a novel oral
RSPR Pharma is a privately-held clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing a novel oral non-steroidal anti-asthmatic for the treatment of patients with asthma that is not controlled by gold standard therapy with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists (ICS/LABA).
The company has a virtual set-up with a management team highly experienced in drug development. The company is based in Stockholm with clinical operations located in Copenhagen.
RSPR Pharma AB is developing CRD007, a safe proprietary orally available drug which provides mast cell control by inhibiting induced and basal release of mediators. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-centre phase II trial investigating the safety and efficacy of CRD007 in uncontrolled asthma is ongoing.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by intermittent airway obstruction and bronchial hyper-responsiveness, resulting in wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. It is one of the most common chronic diseases, affecting some 300 million people World-wide. It is well established that uncontrolled asthma (about 50%) has huge socioeconomic consequences. In severe cases, asthma exacerbations are life-threatening and require emergency hospital visits.
In recent years, it has become evident that asthma is a heterogeneous disease with significant variations in pathophysiology, clinical course and responsiveness to treatment. Although current guidelines for asthma diagnosis and management do not recognize that such phenotypes (“subgroups”) of asthma exist, it is believed that improved future asthma treatments will be based on a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in different types of asthma. In fact, a better understanding of mechanistically distinct asthma phenotypes, along with relevant cellular or molecular biomarkers, is beginning to show promising results in clinical trials with novel biological treatments such as antibodies to IL-5 and IL-13.
Baseline mast cell activity is fundamental in the pathogenesis of asthma, and both basal and induced release of mast cell mediators are implicated in the pathophysiology of exacerbations. None of the common current asthma therapies (beta-agonists, corticosteroids, anti-cholinergics, and leukotriene antagonists) adequately target the mast cell.
RSPR Pharma AB is a Swedish private clinical stage company exploring new medical approaches to treat respiratory disease.
The major shareholders are HealthCap of Sweden (co-founder), Forbion Capital Partners of the Netherlands, Novo Seeds and Sunstone Capital of Denmark.
The company has a virtual set-up with a management team highly experienced in drug development.
The company is based in Stockholm with clinical operations located in Copenhagen.
Carl-Johan Dalsgaard, MD PhD, CEO >
MD PhD, CEO
Before joining HealthCap, he spent 10 years at senior R&D positions at Astra/AstraZeneca, most recently as Therapy Area Head for Pain and Anesthesia and member of Corporate R&D Management. Carl-Johan is a trained plastic and reconstructive surgeon (emphasis on burns) and gained his scientific education in neurobiology and cell biology at Karolinska Institutet and Harvard Medical School.
Johan Raud, MD PhD, CSO >
MD PhD, CSO
Johan Raud, MD, PhD, is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at RSPR Pharma AB. He has more than 25 years of academic, industrial and financial experience from different positions within the healthcare area. He brings experience from AstraZeneca, where he headed research teams, managed drug discovery projects and worked with business intelligence. Prior to his current position, he was also Partner at Karolinska Investment Fund, a venture capital fund with a health care focus. Johan gained his MD, PhD and Associate Professorship at Karolinska Institutet and has published some 75 scientific papers, mainly in the area of inflammation pharmacology.
Mimi Flensburg, DVM PhD, CCO >
DVM PhD, CCO
Mimi Flensburg, DVM, PhD, is Chief Clinical Officer of RSPR Pharma AB. She has more than 15 years’ experience working with clinical development of drug candidates for pharmaceutical companies. Prior to her current position, Mimi headed the Clinical Development Department at the Danish Biotech Company Symphogen. She also brings experience from Genmab, where she was the Clinical Lead for the program which brought Azerra (ofatumumab) from Phase I to FDA approval in 5 years. Mimi gained her scientific education as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and PhD in epidemiology from the University of Copenhagen.
Göran Tornling, MD PhD, CMO >
MD PhD, CMO
Göran Tornling, MD PhD, is Chief Medical Officer at RSPR Pharma AB. He is a board certified pulmonologist with 20 years clinical service at the Karolinska University Hospital. He brings 15 years of industry experience of clinical drug development, translational medicine, strategy development and senior leadership roles form AstraZeneca as well as small and mid-size companies. Göran gained his MD, PhD and Associate Professorship at Karolinska Institutet and has published some 80 scientific papers.
Ola Camber, MSc PhD, COO >
MSc PhD, COO
Ola Camber, MSc, PhD is Chief Manufacturing Officer responsible for CMC at RSPR Pharma AB. He has 35 years of industrial and academic experience from the health care area. He spent more than 20 years at Pharmacia and Astra/AstraZeneca at senior R&D positions, e.g. Director of Pharmaceutical R&D. After that he has held positions such as VP Drug Development and Director of the Board for biotech companies such as Athera Biotechnologies AB and Moberg Pharma AB. Ola gained his PhD and Associate Professorship in Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics at Uppsala University and has published some 30 scientific papers, mainly in the area of drug delivery.
Paul de Potocki, MSc, CBO >
Paul de Potocki
Paul de Potocki, MSc, is Chief Business Officer at RSPR Pharma AB. He has more than 20 years’ experience working in the life sciences industry.
Paul has served as VP Global Sales & Marketing at Pharmacia & Upjohn, SVP Strategic Marketing at Fresenius Kabi and SVP Commercial Operations at Biovitrum AB, now SOBI AB. He has also served as CEO of asthma device company Aerocrine AB. He has executed several significant international licensing, co-development and M&A transactions.
He currently serves as chairman of the board of Klaria Pharma Holding AB. Paul gained his MSc from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.
Board of Directors
Paul Goldenheim, MD, Chairman >
Paul Goldenheim joined the RSPR Pharma Board of Directors as Chairman in September 2014. He is trained as a pulmonary physician and is currently working as a director and consultant in the field of biotechnology, serving on the Boards of Directors of several companies including Adenium, and Hydra Biosciences. Paul has a long history in pharmaceutical research, development, and management, most recently as President of TransForm Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Johnson & Johnson) and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hypnion (acquired by Eli Lilly). Paul also serves on the board of directors of The Big Apple Circus. Dr. Goldenheim has authored numerous scientific publications and been an inventor on a number of pharmaceutical patents. He received his AB from Harvard College magna cum laude with highest honors in biochemical sciences and his MD from Harvard Medical School.
Marco Boorsma, PhD >
Marco is Partner at Forbion Capital Partners investing in Life Science companies. Before joining Forbion in 2007 Marco was Business Development Director at DSM Pharmaceutical Products, responsible for technology out-licensing and managing manufacturing projects. He started his professional career at vaccine company Cytos Biotechnology in Switzerland. After obtaining a Master’s degree in molecular biology from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, Marco received his PhD in biotechnology from the ETH Institute for Technology in Zürich, Switzerland, and worked at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. Apart from his Board role at RSPR Pharma he serves on the Board of Dezima Pharma and is Observer to the Boards of Exosome Diagnostics and Oxyrane.
Anders Ekblom, MD PhD >
Anders has extensive experience as an executive and leader with broad business knowledge from senior roles in the biopharmaceutical industry, with global working cross functions and different countries, delivering products, projects, productivity and change management. He has managed staff and projects in US, EU and Asia. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Karolinska University Hospital, and a non-exec Board member with several biotech companies. During 19 years at AstraZeneca, Anders was a member of global executive teams holding different senior roles including Executive Vice President Global Drug Development, Global Head Clinical Development, Global Head Science and Technology Integration, and CEO AstraZeneca AB Sweden. Anders is a board certified MD (anesthesiology and intensive care), PhD, DDS and Associate Professor at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. He has 60 scientific publications in peer reviewed journals and additional publications such as book chapters.
Joseph Feczko, MD >
Joseph Feczko, M.D. was until May, 2009, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Pfizer Inc and member of the Executive Leadership Team with global responsibilities for all aspects of the company’s medical, regulatory and safety activities. He is Board Certified (U.S.) in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, and Research!America. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Accordia Global Health Foundation and a member of the Technical Expert Committee for Trachoma on the International Trachoma Initiative of the Task Force for Global Health. He served as a member of the governing board of the Technology Strategy Board of the United Kingdom from 2006-2011. In the field of Biotechnology he has the following appointments: member of the Board of Directors of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (New York); a member of the Board of Directors of ChemoCentryx Inc (San Francisco); and a member of the Supervisory Board of uniQure, B.V. based in The Netherlands.
Bengt Samuelsson , Professor >
Bengt Samuelsson is Professor of Physiological Chemistry at Karolinska Institutet, former President of Karolinska Institutet and former Chairman of the Nobel Foundation. His research over the years has focused on the arachidonic acid cascade and especially on prostaglandins and leukotrienes. For his work in this area, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1982. Bengt is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, The US National Academy of Sciences, The French Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society, UK. He has more than 25 years of experience as Board member of drug companies and biotech companies and is currently board member of LTB4 Sweden AB.
Per Samuelsson, MSc >
Per Samuelsson is Partner of HealthCap, a family of multi-stage life science venture capital funds.
Before joining HealthCap in 2000, he gained over 15 years of investment banking experience, mainly with Aros Securities in Sweden. In his most recent position with Aros Securities, as a Director in the firm's corporate finance department, he specialized in the areas of Merger Transactions, Initial Public Offerings and Equity Incentive Programs. Prior to this, Per was head of Research, also at Aros Securities.
He received his MSc in Engineering from the Institute of Technology in Linköping. He is member of the Board of SwedenBIO, the Swedish biotech industry organization, and several biotechnology companies in the HealthCap portfolio.
Andreas Segerros, MSc MBA >
Andreas Segerros joined the Life Science group of Sunstone Capital as Partner in 2012 and focuses on therapeutics and drug delivery investments. Andreas has been working together with the Sunstone team since 2007 as a Venture Partner and has been serving as Chairman of the Sunstone Business Development Board, an external review group consisting of worldwide pharma executives, since its establishment in 2007. Andreas brings to Sunstone more than 20 years of commercial and development experience in the international pharma industry and has held a number of positions across Europe, the US and Japan. Most recently, he held a position at Ferring Pharmaceuticals in Switzerland where he was Head of the Business Development Group and Operations Planning. Andreas holds a Master’s degree in Biotechnology and Biomaterials from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and an MBA from the University of Uppsala.
Søren Møller, PhD >
Søren obtained his MSc degree from the Technical University of Denmark in 1993 and his PhD degree in molecular biology in 1997 from the Technical University of Denmark. In addition, Søren has academic training as postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Prior to joining Novo Seeds in 2011, Søren served as global manager of Bioinformatics and Genomics at Novozymes. Before Novozymes, Søren was CSO and Vice President of R&D at Exiqon A/S where he was responsible for development of microRNA based products. Previously, Søren worked in cancer drug development as head of Lead Identification at BioImage and as research scientist at Novo Nordisk.
Besides RSPR Pharma Søren serves on the Board of Directors of Biosyntia, Denator AB, and Reapplix A/S. And since 2008, Søren has been board member of Danish Biotech (the Association of Biotechnology Industries in Denmark)
Björn Odlander, MD PhD >
Björn Odlander is Founding Partner of HealthCap, a family of multi-stage life science venture capital funds.
He previously headed the ABB Aros Health Care Equity Research Team. Prior to joining Aros in 1992, he was active at Karolinska Institutet pursuing scientific research in the biochemistry of inflammation. During his tenure with Aros, Björn also served as advisor to the management of several major pharmaceutical and medical technology companies. Björn is a Medical Doctor, a PhD in Physiological Chemistry, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and a Director of several biotechnology companies.
Professor Sven-Erik Dahlén
Professor Paul O'Byrne
Professor Sally Wenzel
RSPR Pharma hires Paul de Potocki as Chief Business Officer
RSPR Pharma initiates Phase II clinical trial of oral mast cell inhibitor CRD007 in uncontrolled asthma. Press release
RSPR Pharma raises € 9.6 million to develop a new oral non-steroidal anti-asthmatic drug. Press release
Carl-Johan Dalsgaard, CEO of RSPR Pharma AB
Phone +46 709 759 863