About Us

In brief

Vicore is a Swedish research and development company focused on interstitial lung diseases and related indications. The company currently has two drug development programs, VP01 and VP02.

VP01 aims to develop the substance C21 for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and, in addition, a second indication is being explored. As a result of the acquisition of INIM Pharma AB in August 2018, VP02 is Vicore’s second drug development program and is based on a new formulation and delivery route of an existing immunomodulatory compound (an “IMiD”). It is focused on IPF with regards to both the underlying disease and severe cough associated to IPF. Also for VP02, a second indication in the area of interstitial lung diseases is being evaluated. The acquisition of INIM Pharma AB meant that the operations of Vicore were expanded whereas the strategic focus was further narrowed, addressing rare and severe lung diseases.

Vicore’s drug candidate C21 is the first small-molecular compound which is an angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2r) agonist. Based on the extensive research conducted on C21 in general and anti-fibrotic effects in particular, Vicore has chosen to focus the clinical development of the drug candidate to IPF and related indications.Vicore Pharma has received approval from the UK authorities to initiate a Phase IIa study for C21 and based on the safety profile Vicore will take the opportunity to increase the exposure by identifying new and higher doses of C21 in man. The company expects to initiate the expanded dose escalating Phase I program in January 2019 and the clinical phase IIa study in IPF patients is expected to start six months later.

The IMiD program (VP02) is entering a phase of optimization of formulation before local tolerability studies will commence. The first clinical studies with VP02 is expected to start in 2020.

Vision

Vicore’s vision is to cure severe interstitial lung diseases.

Goals

Vicore’s goal is to establish the company as an internationally leading drug development company with the aim of helping patients with severe and rare lung diseases. Through clinical trials, the company shall develop its drug candidates up until regulatory approval and marketing authorization.

Background

Vicore Pharma AB was founded in 2000 based on explorative research at Uppsala University and Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University. In the early years Vicore Pharma was financed by venture capital companies, but in 2003 the ownership returned to the original founders. In 2007  Vita Nova Ventures acquired all shares in Vicore Pharma AB from the founders. In 2009 Mintage Scientific (now Vicore Pharma Holding) acquired all the shares in Vicore Pharma AB and 34% of the shares in I-Tech AB. Vicore Pharma Holding has completed eight share issues which together have brought in approx. 131 million SEK.

Management

Per Jansson

Carl-Johan Dalsgaard, M.D.,Ph.D.
CEO

Previously venture Partner of HealthCap, serving as CEO of certain companies in which the HealhCap funds have invested. Prior to joining HealthCap in 2000, Dr. Dalsgaard gained 10 years of senior management experience from the pharmaceutical industry, latest as Head of Therapy Area Pain Control, Astra Zeneca R&D. He became MD at the Karolinska Institute, has a PhD in neurobiology and post-doc experience from Harvard Medical School.

Johanna Gräns

Johanna Gräns, Ph.D
Regulatory Affairs Manager

Johanna has a Ph.D and expertise in pharmaceutical metabolism. She has extensive experience in preclinical interpretation and is responsible for producing and refining the regulatory documentation for C21.

Dan Isaksson

Dan Isaksson, Ph.D
Senior R&D Chemist

Dan is an organic chemist and has been working in the biotech industry since 2009.  A lot of the R&D work has been around formulation and controlled release of actives from various matrixes, as well as patenting promising new technologies.

Ulrike Steckelings

Ulrike Muscha Steckelings M.D., Ph.D. and Professor in Pharmacology
CSO

Muscha has extensive research experience in the fields of the Renin Angiotensin System and the AT2 receptor, and has published numerous articles in peer reviewed journals. She also holds a clinical degree in dermatology. Muscha is a Professor of Integrative Pharmacology at University of Southern Denmark, Odense, in parallel with her role at Vicore Pharma.

 

Hans Jeppsson, Ph.D., Finance
CFO

Hans is a Finance professional with a cross-disciplinary background in Finance and Medicine in both academic and industry settings. He has worked as a biotechnology analyst at Danske Bank in Stockholm and within preclinical research at AstraZeneca R&D. Hans holds a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Gothenburg. He carried out post-doc research at Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. He also has a background within Chemical Engineering (major Biotechnology) from Chalmers University of Technology.

Kicki Johansson, Ph.D. Pharm
Head of Drug Development

Kicki has been responsible for the development of more than 40 new compounds in different disease areas within Astra Zeneca. Most recently she has had a position as Senior Project Leader/VP for the clinical development of oral anti-inflammatory projects within the Respiratory and Inflammatory Disease Division of AstraZeneca.

Nina Carlén

Nina Carlén
IR, Communication & Administration

Nina has more than 15 years’ experience of working with marketing and communication in the medical industry.

Board of Directors

Leif Darner
Chairman

Leif is the owner of consulting firm Darner Asset Management AB. Prior to this, he was an Executive Director on the Board of Management at AkzoNobel, where he was responsible for Performance Coatings from 2008 and for Chemicals from 2004.

Other assignments: Board member at LKAB AB, Sweden, Flowserve Corporation, Dallas, US and I-Tech AB.

 

Kjell Stenberg
Board member

Kjell has extensive board experience in a large number of companies that are active across a range of industries.

Other assignments: Board member of WntResearch AB, Kjell Stenberg AB and CN Stenberg AB.

 

Peter Ström

Peter Ström
Board Member

Peter Ström has an MBA from the Stockholm School of Economics. He has held senior positions at companies including KabiPharmacia UK (CEO) and IMSHealth Europe (VP).

Other assignments: Chairman of WntResearch AB. Board member of Stockholm Corporate Finance AB, Dentosystem Scandinavia AB. Deputy board member of Comtax Support Limited.

Göran Wessman

Göran Wessman
Board member

Göran has over twenty years’ experience in management positions in pharmaceutical and medical device companies, as well as from the CRO business area of clinical research. Göran has held senior leadership positions at Nobel Biocare, Boule Group and Carmel Pharma.

Other assignments: Board member of ITIN Holding AB (publ), Vicore Pharma AB, Protem Wessman AB and Protem Företagsförvaltning AB.

Jacob Gunterberg
Board member

Partner with HealthCap since 2007. Prior to joining HealthCap, he worked with investment banking at ABB Aros Securities where he was Director and responsible for the life sciences sector as well as with Hjalmarsson & Gunterberg Corporate Finance which he co-founded in 2000.
Other board assignments: Carisma Therapeutics, Inc, USA and Trimb Holding AB, Sweden.

 

 

Hans Schikan
Board member

Hans brings more than 25 years relevant experience in biopharma, latest as CEO of Prosensa in The Netherlands, a company focusing on rare diseases, which was listed on NASDAQ in June 2013 and acquired by BioMarin early 2015. Mr. Schikan’s previous assignments include leadership roles at Genzyme (acquired by Sanofi) and Organon (acquired by Schering Plough). He previously served on the boards of Hansa Medical and Wilson Therapeutics (acquired by Alexion).

Other assignments: Chairman of the Board of Directors of Asceneuron, Switzerland, Interna, The Netherlands and Complix, Belgium. Member of the Board of Directors of Therachon, Switzerland, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum, Sweden, as well as of the Dutch Top Sector Life Sciences & Health, The Netherlands. Advisor to various organisations in Life Sciences & Health

.

 

Peter Ström

Maarten Kraan
Board Member

Maarten is the head of R&D at Pierre Fabre S.A. He brings more than 25 years of experience working as both academic and industry leader in scientific research across many therapeutics areas. Dr. Kraan has worked at the large pharmaceutical companies ScheringPlough, Bristol Myers Squibb, Roche/Genentech and AstraZeneca, and a venture funding backed Biotech start-up companies.

Other board assignments:  Toleranza AB

Göran Wessman

Sara Malcus
Board Member

Sara is the CEO of MetaboGen AB, a company developing products based on the human microbiome. Sara has a PhD in Inflammation medicine and extensive experience from early life science development in her previous role as Business Development and Investment Manager at GU Ventures AB. Over the past 8 years, she has held several executive positions in start-up companies, primarily focusing on pharmaceutical development. Before joining MetaboGen, Sara was part of the AstraZeneca global partnering team.

Other assignments: None

 

Scientific Advisors

Thomas Unger

Thomas Unger

M.D., Ph.D. and Professor in Pharmacology

Professor Thomas Unger is the Scientific Director at CARIM (School for Cardiovascular Diseases) at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. He is a world-renowned researcher and authority in the cardiovascular area, with more than 600 published articles. He has taken a special interest in research on the AT 2 receptor. Prof. Unger is also a valued speaker at international conferences in the cardiovascular area and holds important positions in international scientific organizations.

 

Colin Sumners

Colin Sumners

Ph.D. and Professor in Physiology

Professor Colin Sumners, located at the University of Florida in Gainesville, USA, has studied the Renin Angiotensin System for ~40 years. He has extensive experience with regard to angiotensin actions in neural tissues and has published extensively in this area. His current focus is on the protective AT2 receptor in the brain, as a target for stroke- and anti-hypertensive therapeutics.

Maarten Kraan

MD, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Experimental Rheumatology

Maarten is the head of R&D at Pierre Fabre S.A. He brings more than 25 years of experience working as both academic and industry leader in scientific research across many therapeutics areas. Dr. Kraan has worked at the large pharmaceutical companies ScheringPlough, Bristol Myers Squibb, Roche/Genentech and AstraZeneca, and a venture funding backed Biotech start-up companies.

 

Thomas Unger

Dr Göran Tornling

MD, Ph.D., and Associate Professor

Dr. Göran Tornling has almost four decades’ experience as a physician specializing in respiratory medicine. His previous roles include Executive Director Clinical Science and Strategy (Respiratory) at AstraZeneca R&D with responsibility for developing clinical strategies, including an IPF program. Dr. Tornling is a graduate of Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology and Karolinska Institutet and is a certified specialist in respiratory and occupational medicine