Stanko Skrtic, Chief Scientific Officer, and Maria Forss, Head of business development, joined the PULS team of life sciences project management and drug development experts in mid August.
Stanko Skrtic M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., Associate Professor in Clinical Pharmacology, has been a PULS partner for a number of years and also a founding innovator in several life sciences projects. Apart from his role as Chief Scientific Officer in PULS, he will focus on DuoCort Pharma, one of the PULS project companies that is currently in late clinical development and preparing to submit a regulatory file during 2009.
Skrtic has most recently worked at Astra Zeneca and has a background in research in experimental medicine and pharmacology at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. He is the founder and director of several biomedical start-ups. He will contribute with his broad experience in pharmaceutical development encompassing preclinical and clinical development within both SMEs and largepharmaceutical companies. Skrtic also has experience of regulatory authority work.
Maria Forss, M Sc BA, comes most recently from the global marketing organisation at AstraZeneca where she held the position of Brand Insight Director. For the last 13 years Forss has worked in both local and global marketing positions at AstraZeneca and brings a wealth of experience of early drug development from a strategic marketing perspective.
She has successfully led cross functional projects over the whole product life cycle and will broaden the competence base in PULS to secure quality in both new and existing projects. Forss is also the author of a book about quality work, "Att mäta kvalitet".
In addition to her role as Head of business development, Maria Forss will also lead DuoCort Pharma in the lead-up to its coming market launch and partnering process.
"We are delighted to be able to strengthen the scientific and business development sides of PULS. This marks another step in our ambition to become a leading actor in investments in life science. With more personnel resources and broader expertise we can handle more project evaluations, more investments and at the same time focus the exit processes in existing project companies", says Pontus Ottosson, CEO of PULS.
Partners for Development investments in Life Sciences, P.U.L.S. AB ("PULS") was founded in 2002.
PULS acts as a investor and incubator for early projects within life science, mostly drug development and has so far started seven project companies. PULS consist of an operational management team and twenty partners with long experience in life sciences and competence through the whole value chain, from R&D to commercialisation. The business model for PULS is to engage early with innovators to attain an optimal IP platform and high quality development throughout the project. By providing capital, knowledge and cost effectivemanagement, the common objective is to maximise, clarify and realise the value of project ideas through a successful exit. For more information, please visit www.pulsinvest.se or contact CEO Pontus Ottosson on telephone +46 42 38 74 18.
DuoCort AB is developing an improved glucocorticoid replacement therapy for patients with adrenal insufficiency, an indication for which the product has orphan drug designations in Europe and the USA. A Phase II/III clinical trial is underway to assess the safety and pharmacokinetics of the product once daily compared to conventional treatment. The Phase I data presented in 2007 showed that both the product´s dual-release tablets of 5 mg and 20 mg hydrocortisone were safe and well tolerated. The drug also generated a plasma profile that better mimics the physiological cortisol release pattern than today's available treatment. DuoCort plans to begin marketing the product in 2010. The product is being developed by DuoCort Pharma AB, a wholly-owned subsidiary.