Aqilion announced today that Johan Lund, the current Chairman of the company, will join the operational team as Chief Scientific Officer beginning on March 1. Johan Lund will mainly contribute his expertise in the field of inflammation research, which is Aqilion’s research priority.
During its journey of change, Aqilion has transitioned from being a company that invested in startup companies to launching wholly owned projects with potential to break new ground in the development of innovative therapies. The company is focusing on novel therapies for patients with diseases primarily in the field of inflammation. Under this business model, Aqilion will run these internal projects from preclinical phase to early clinical development, when larger pharmaceutical companies may be interested in acquiring them. One part of the Aqilion strategy entails greater focus on certain disease areas. The choice has fallen to diseases where inflammation is an important component of the disease mechanism.
“Inflammation is a field in which new biological research findings make it possible to address serious diseases in new ways. It is also a disease area where there is a great need for novel, effective and safe treatments. I am convinced that Johan’s expertise, experience and network of contacts will have great significance for Aqilion’s continued development and success. My colleagues and I are extremely proud and pleased to have Johan as part of our operational team,” says Sarah Fredriksson, CEO of Aqilion.
“In my role as chairman of Aqilion, I have gained good insight into and a strong interest in Aqilion’s operations. Aqilion currently has three in-house early research projects and it is incredibly exciting to have the opportunity now to contribute on a more operational level, along with Aqilion’s talented and experienced core team, to the success of these projects. Our aim is to quickly drive these projects forward and to translate the innovations to patient benefit and commercial value,” says Johan Lund, Aqilion’s Chairman of the Board and incoming Chief Scientific Officer.
Johan Lund went to medical school at and earned his PhD from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. He pursued postdoctoral studies at UT Southwestern Medical Center in the US, 1987-1989 and became an associate professor at Karolinska Institutet in 1990, as well as a professor at the University of Bergen, Norway, in 1996. Since 1999 he has been active in pharmaceutical research and development. Most recently, he was Vice President of Translational R&D at Celgene, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, with responsibility for early research and development in inflammation and immunology. Previous positions include Chief Scientific Officer, Immunoscience Research Unit at Pfizer, Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as 14 years at AstraZeneca in executive positions in both Sweden and the UK as Vice President CNS & Pain Innovative Medicines Science and Vice President Respiratory and Inflammation Research. He is a co-founder of KyNexis Medicine Development AB, founder of MBS Pharma and Board member of Olink Proteomics, NEOGAP Therapeutics and Genagon.