About Us

We’re developing Sepranolone, the world’s first dedicated treatment for PMDD. With a new family of GAMSA compounds (GABA-A Modulating Steroid Antagonists) we aim to develop new, safe therapies for severe menstrual-related and stress-related conditions still widely untreated.

About Asarina Pharma
Management
Board
Scientific Advisory Board
Team

ABOUT ASARINA PHARMA

The powerful neurosteroid Allopregnanolone (ALLO) is implicated in a wide range of stress- and compulsion-related conditions from menstrual migraine to Tourette, OCD, PTSD, PMDD, compulsive gambling, addiction—and more.​ Our novel treatment Sepranolone is the endogenous compound that inhibits and modulates ALLO. It is the first of a new family of GAMSA compounds (GABAA Modulating Steroid Antagonists). GAMSAs target the powerful neurosteroids that act on the brain’s GABAA receptors. GAMSAs represent a new paradigm shift in the treatment of still widely untreated stress- and compulsion-related conditions.

Management

With rich business and medical expertise, the Asarina Pharma team is united by its vision of bringing a new family of safe, natural, effective compounds—GAMSAs—to market for the treatment of a wide range of stress- and compulsion-related conditions.

Asarina Pharma is a lean and efficient organization with a seasoned management team with extensive pre-clinical, clinical development, project management and market experience. The team is supervised by a board comprising experienced individuals from the pharmaceutical industry and venture capital field.

Peter Nordkild
Chief Executive Officer

MD, with 20 years of experience from pharmaceutical companies Novo Nordisk and Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Recent 10 years in biotechnology as CEO of Nasdaq listed Egalet and as serial Danish biotech entrepreneur. Founder or cofounder of ARTS Biologics in fertility treatment in 2011; Adenium Biotech in antimicrobial peptides and multi resistant bacteria in 2011 and finally Defensin Therapeutics in microbiota modulating defensins. Board member of Danish Biotech Association.

SHAREHOLDING: 263,124 shares, and 6,152,674 warrants which give the right to subscribe to 246,106 new shares.

Torbjörn Bäckström
Chief Science Officer

MD, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Umecrine AB, is professor at the Department of Clinical Science, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Umeå University. He is also head of the Umeå Neurosteroid Research Center. Professor Bäckström’s main focus of research since 1972 is the effect of sex and stress hormones on the brain and conditions induced by these hormones, he has more than 400 scientific publications within this area.

SHAREHOLDING: 315,338 shares, held privately and through related parties. 1,025,445 warrants which give the right to subscribe to 41,017,9 new shares.

Karin Ekberg
Chief Operating Officer

PhD, has previous experience from clinical and pre-clinical project management within biotech companies active in the areas of diabetes and cognitive impairment. Moreover, she has some 20 years of experience in human experimental and clinical scientific work at the Karolinska Institute and she has more than 70 scientific publications, mainly within the area of physiology, endocrinology and metabolism.

SHAREHOLDING: 5,000 shares, held privately and through related parties. 2,050,891 warrants which give the right to subscribe to 82,035 new shares.

Sven Göthe
Director CMC

With a Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry and Polymer Technology, Sven Göthe has more than 30 years’ experience of product development, project management, manufacturing and commercialization of development projects. For 19 years he has run his own commercialization consultancy, acting as senior expert of upscaling production for many innovative pharma and life science companies. He has held different positions at Pharmacia & Upjohn and Fresenius Kabi AB.

SHAREHOLDING: 10,000 shares and 61,000 warrants which give the right to subscribe 61,000 shares, held privately and through related parties.

Jakob Dynnes Hansen
Chief Financial Officer

MSc, MBA, has more than 25 years of combined experience from biotech and financing. Prior to joining Asarina, he was the CFO for more than 9 years at Evolva, a Swiss public biotech company. At Evolva, he played a key role in the company’s listing in 2009 and several subsequent financings. Previously, he was CFO at two Danish biotech companies, Nuevolution and Zealand Pharma. Before moving into biotech, Mr Hansen was a senior member of the Corporate Finance Team at Unibank (now Nordea) and he has been Head of Market Research at Novo Nordisk Jakob has an MSc in Economics from University of Copenhagen and an MBA from INSEAD.

SHAREHOLDING: No shares, 1,538,168 warrants which give the right to subscribe to 61,526 new shares.

Märta Segerdahl
Chief Medical Officer

Märta Segerdahl has over 25 years’ clinical and strategic experience in anaesthesiology and pain medicine, including menstrual migraine. She gained her Medical License and Doctorate from Karolinska Institutet, and was a senior consultant at pain clinics in Karolinska and Huddinge Hospitals in Stockholm, heading the latter. She is currently an Associate Professor at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, and Chief Medical Specialist for Clinical Development Neurology for Danish pharma company Lundbeck.

SHAREHOLDING: 10,000 shares, held privately and through related parties. 1,538,168 warrants which give the right to subscribe to 61,526 new shares.

Otto Skolling
Chief Business Officer

MSc in Chemistry, has 20 years of broad-based pharmaceutical and med tech. industry experience, including product development, business development and project management gained through management positions at Novozymes, Siemens Life Support Systems and Pharmacia & Upjohn.

SHAREHOLDING: 25,000 shares held privately and through another company. 1,538,168 warrants which give the right to subscribe to 61,526 new shares.

BOARD

Asarina Pharma’s Board of Directors is an international team with over 100 years’ combined experience in pharmaceutical development and commercialization. The Board comprises extensive international strategic and scientific experience of executives from four countries, reflecting the global potential of Sepranolone, and Asarina Pharma’s new GAMSA family of therapies.

Paul de Potocki Chairman of the board since 2018
MSc in Chemistry with more than 20 years’ international life science experience primarily focused on commercial operations and business & corporate development. Paul has held senior management positions with Pharmacia, Fresenius-Kabi and Biovitrum (now SOBI), and has served as CEO of stock exchange listed companies in Sweden and Norway.

SHAREHOLDING: 2,050,891 warrants which give the right to subscribe to 82,095 new shares.

Independent in relation to the Company and Company Management as well as independent in relation to the Company’s major shareholders.

Erin Gainer Director of the Board since 2020
Erin Gainer is a global leader and strategist in women’s health pharmaceuticals. She is Chair of the Board of HRA Pharma and was CEO for 16 years, where she led the development and launch of an extensive portfolio of innovative women’s health products, including the company’s flagship emergency contraceptive products ellaOne® and NorLevo®. A graduate from Rice University and John Hopkins School of Public Health, Erin Gainer has a PHD from Paris-Sud University and an EMBA from INSEAD. She is the founder of the Ella Fund, which empowers girls and women globally by funding innovative healthcare, education and entrepreneurship initiatives worldwide.

SHAREHOLDING: 41,000 warrants which give the right to subscribe to 41,000 new shares

Independent in relation to the Company and Company Management as well as independent in relation to the Company’s major shareholders.

Marianne Kock Director of the Board since 2018
Marianne is Managing Director at Ferring Pharmaceuticals Denmark, she is also SVP for Global Regulatory Affairs. She has extensive experience in R&D, clinical development, regulatory affairs and pharma development. Marianne is a Master of Science in pharmacy, from Danmarks Farmaceutiske Universitet and she holds an executive MBA. Before joining Ferring in 2002, she was Vice President at Novo Nordisk.

SHAREHOLDING: 3,000 shares. 1,025,445 warrants which give the right to subscribe to 41,017 new shares..

Independent in relation to the Company and Company Management as well as independent in relation to the Company’s major shareholders.
Mathieu Simon Director of the Board since 2019

Dr. Mathieu Simon has held senior executive positions in many leading pharmaceutical and life science companies. He is an advisor to the European Commission Horizon 2020 Programme and a Senior Advisor at Messier Maris & Associés, an advisory M&A firm located in Paris, New York, and London, a Venture Partner at Bellevue Venture Capital in Zurich, Switzerland, an independent director at the Board of VAXIMM AG (CH) and LNC SA (FR) and a member of the Affimed supervisory board (AFMD NASDAQ). Dr. Simon was certified in internal medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, Paris Diderot University (Paris VII). He is a Graduate of the Paris Faculte de medicine, 1982.

SHAREHOLDING: No shares.

Independent in relation to the Company and Company Management as well as independent in relation to the Company’s major shareholders.

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD

From obstetrics and gynaecology to neurology and pharmacology—our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is made up of recognized authorities from all the fields that intersect in menstrual-related disorders.

Every member of our SAB has advanced their field significantly over the course of decades of often award-winning work. Together, they provide Asarina Pharma with world-class support and guidance on every aspect of its research, technology and treatments.

Torbjörn Bäckström Chairman

MD, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Umecrine AB, is professor at the Department of Clinical Science, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Umeå University. He is also head of the Umeå Neurosteroid Research Center. Professor Bäckström’s main focus of research since 1972 is the effect of sex and stress hormones on the brain and conditions induced by these hormones, he has more than 400 scientific publications within this area.

Anne MacGregor Scientific board member
Dr Anne MacGregor is a recognized authority on menstrual migraine and headache with over 200 research papers and five books to her name. Dr MacGergor’s MBBS medical degree was from St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, where she began training in headache medicine and studying vital links between the menstrual cycle and migraine. Her Doctorate in Medicine was from the University of London, and her MSc MedEd (Masters in Medical Education) from the Royal College of Physicians and University College London. Dr MacGregor is Honorary Professor at the Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma, Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Barts, and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. In 2002 she received the Elizabeth Garret Anderson Award, awarded to women who have made an extraordinary contribution to long-term work in headache relief. In 2011 she received the Special Recognition Award and Honorary Life Membership from the International Headache Society.

Marco Bortolato Scientific board member
Marco Bortolato is currently Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Utah. He is a recognised authority on neurodevelopmental disorders. He received his M.D. degree in 2000 from the University of Cagliari, Italy, and gained his Doctorate in Pharmacology there in 2004. Marco Bortolato’s key area of scientific interest is the interaction between lipid mediators (including neuroactive steroids and endocannabinoids) and key brain neurotransmitters. The long-term goal of this research is the development of novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of pathological aggression, autism-spectrum disorder, Tourette syndrome, schizophrenia and impulse-control disorders (such as pathological gambling).

C. Neill Epperson, M.D. Scientific board member
Dr. Neill Epperson is Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine where she is also the Founder and Director of the Penn Center for Women’s Behavioral Wellness. The Center’s mission is to improve women’s health through greater understanding of the impact of hormones and gender on common medical conditions. Dr Epperson also directs the cross-university center, Penn PROMOTES Research on Sex and Gender in Health and Penn’s Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) K12 program. Dr. Epperson received her M.D. degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed her postdoctoral and research training in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine where she was Associate Professor of Psychiatry before joining Penn in the fall of 2009.

Marie Bixo Scientific board member
Marie Bixo is a Professor and Consultant Physician at the Department of Clinical Science, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Unit, Umeå University, Sweden. Awards for her work in the field include the 2009 OGU Prize from the Swedish Association for Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Prof Bixo received her M.D. degree in 1984 and her Doctorate in Medicine in 1987, both from Umeå University. She became a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology in 1993, after training at Mölndal Hospital. 1995. In 2011 she was employed at Umeå University, first as Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor and then as Professor. In 2012 she became a professor at Karolinska Institute, returning to Umeå University as Professor of Obstetrics and Gyneacology in 2014. She is interviewed regularly as a trusted authority on menstrual issues in Swedish and Scandinavian media.

Günther Deuschl Scientific board member
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Günther Deuschl received his MD at the University of Munich. From 1981 to 1982 he trained at the Department of Neurology of the Universities in Munich and subsequently in Freiburg where he was promoted to assistant professor in 1988. In 1991 he spent a sabbatical at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda/USA. In 1995 he was elected as full Professor of Neurology at the Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel and chairman of the Department of Neurology. He retired in 2016 and is working currently as a senior researcher at the Department. His research interests are focused on the clinical features and treatment of Movement Disorders, Parkinson’s disease, essential and other tremors and deep Brain Stimulation. A special interest covers clinical studies on deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease and the pathophysiology of movement disorders.

He has published more than 580 Pubmed listed papers with > 42.000 citations. He has led the guideline committees of the German Neurological Society ‘Parkinson’s disease’ as well as ‘Dementia’ and many scientific committees. He holds honorary professorships in Hangzhou and Shanghai and is doctor honoris causa of the Moldovian Academy of Sciences. He is honorary member of the International Movement Disorder, the Austrian Parkinson Society as well as the French, Moldavian and Rumanian Neurological Societies. He has served in many functions for different scientific societies. He is past president of the German Society of Neurology and of the International Movement Disorder Society. Currently he is president of the European Academy of Neurology.

TEAM

Magnus Brisander, PhD
Principal Scientist

magnus.brisander@asarinapharma.com

 

Anette Wärnmark, MSE, PhD
Project Manager

anette.warnmark@asarinapharma.com

Mark DuBois
Communications Manager

mark.dubois@asarinapharma.com

Olivia Hahne
Communications

olivia.hahne@asarinapharma.com

Dorte Dannemann
Executive Assistant

dorte.dannemann@asarinapharma.com