About us

At a glance

Cereno Scientific is a clinical-stage biotech company focusing on developing innovative, effective, and safe treatments for patients affected by common and rare cardiovascular disease where great unmet medical needs persist. The project portfolio comprises a Phase II program and two preclinical programs.

The lead drug candidate CS1 is an HDAC (histone deacetylase) inhibitor that acts as an epigenetic modulator through pressure-reducing, “reverse-remodeling”, anti-fibrotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic properties. CS1 is undergoing a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of the rare disease pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

The two preclinical programs comprises CS014 and CS585. Drug candidate CS014 is an HDAC inhibitor with epigenetic effects that is being developed as a treatment to effectively prevent thrombosis without increased risk of bleeding. The drug candidate CS585 is being evaluated as a treatment for cardiovascular disease and further studies are ongoing to confirm an indication for clinical studies in cardiovascular disease.

The company is headquartered in AstraZeneca’s BioVentureHub, Sweden, and has a US subsidiary Cereno Scientific Inc. based in Kendall Square in Boston, Massachusetts, US. Cereno is listed on the Swedish Nasdaq First North Growth Market (CRNO B).

Board of Directors

Born 1984. Joakim Söderström is an entrepreneur and biotech investor with experience as CEO, board member, and chairman. Joakim is currently the CEO of Svensk Bakgrundsanalys AB, CEO and board member of Quod Opto AB and J-TAC AB. Joakim was previously the CEO of SäkerhetsBranschen and Vice President of Euroalarm. Moreover, Joakim has previously held multiple managerial positions within the Swedish Police Authority. Joakim has completed the Police Academy at Umeå University, courses through The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) and the Swedish Defense University as well as selected courses in political science at Linköping University, behavioral science at Umeå University, Administrative and Labor Law at Malmö University. Joakim is considered independent of the company, its management and major shareholders according to the Swedish corporate governance code.    

Shareholding: 1,540,000 Class B shares

Born 1977. Jonas Faijerson Säljö has a research background in the stroke area with wide-ranging experience in the commercialization of medical innovations. Faijerson Säljö has significant expertise in intellectual property and business development experience from a large number of companies in the life science area. He is currently employed as Senior IP Business Consultant and CEO of Synergon AB. Jonas Faijerson Säljö holds a Ph.D. in Neurobiology and is a licensed pharmacist from the University of Gothenburg. Member of the board of Synergon AB and Innovaurum AB. CEO of Synergon AB and founder of Innovaurum AB. Jonas Faijerson Säljö is dependent of the company, the company management and independent of major shareholders as defined by the Swedish Code of Corporate Governance.

Shareholding: 135 440 Class A shares and 907 904 Class B shares. 50 000 warrants of Series 2019/2023 S01

Born 1954. Sverker Jern is one of the founders of Cereno Scientific AB. He is a physician and Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology at the University of Gothenburg. It is Sverker Jern’s research at the Wallenberg Laboratory for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research at the Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg, which discovered the molecular mechanisms that control the body's inherent protection against blood clots. These basic research findings are utilized in Cereno's development programs. Sverker Jern has also been in charge of ECG analysis in several of the largest international cardiovascular intervention studies. Sverker Jern holds a B.A., M.D., Ph.D., and is a Specialist in Clinical Physiology, Associate professor, Professor and a University Hospital Chief Physician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, University of Gothenburg. Researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg and CEO of Jern Medical AB and Jern Diagnostics AB. Sverker Jern is independent of the company, the company management and of major shareholders as defined by the Swedish Code of Corporate Governance.

Shareholding: 1 034 583 A shares, 232 760 B shares and 111 111 warrants

Born 1954. Lena Mårtensson Wernrud has been working in the Life Science area in different management level positions since 1984 and has also been a tutor of several doctoral candidates. Among her positions include Head of Preclinical Unit at Gambro AB, Director and Head of Clinical Operations at Perstorp Pharma, Global Director of Project Management at Pharmacia/Pfizer, Director & Head of Business Development Discovery Respiratory and Inflammation at AstraZeneca, as well as Senior Director and Head of Pipeline Sourcing at LEO Pharma. Lena Mårtensson Wernrud holds a Ph.D. and is associate professor at Lund University. Chairman of the board of Xinnate AB and Transient Pharma AB. Lena Mårtensson Wernrud is independent of the company, the company management and of major shareholders as defined by the Swedish Code of Corporate Governance.

Shareholding: 160 933 B shares and 111 111 warrants

Born 1951. Anders Svensson is a licensed physician, medical doctor, and lecturer with over 20 years of experience in academic medicine; his scientific focus is cardiovascular diseases. He has extensive experience in international pharmaceutical development after almost 20 years in leading positions within the global pharmaceutical industry such as F. Hoffmann-LaRoche where he was responsible for the global clinical development of diabetes and cardiovascular. Prior to that he was working as Vice President and responsible for the clinical development of cardiovascular and later gastrointestinal drugs at AstraZeneca. Anders Svensson has almost 100 publications to his name. Anders Svensson holds a MD, Ph.D. from the University of Gothenburg. Member of the board of Tikomed AB. Founder of C Anders Svensson Consulting. Anders Svensson is independent of the company, the company management and of major shareholders as defined by the Swedish Code of Corporate Governance.

Shareholding: 180 990 B shares and 111 111 warrants

Born 1962. Øvlesen has experience in business development and has been involved in more than 20 successful start-ups in medtech, biotech, and IT, including CLC Bio, Cetrea and Monsenso. Øvlesen has previously been CEO at SynAct Pharma AB (publ), ChemoMetec A/S and PNN Medical A/S. Previous experience also includes founding TXP Pharma, and holding executive positions as CFO and Vice President of business development at Action Pharma A/S, whose lead candidate was sold to AbbVie for 110 MUSD. Jeppe is currently chairman in HG Energy Group A/S, Cercare Medical A/S, Go-Pen A/S, and Neurescue ApS, and is a board member in Perfusion Tech Aps, and ResoTher Pharma Aps. Øvlesen has an MBA with a focus on leadership and finance from the University of Hartford, US. Øvlesen is independent of the company, the company management and of major shareholders as defined by the Swedish Code of Corporate Governance.

Shareholding: 55 000 B shares

Executive Management Team

Born 1959. Sten Sörensen has extensive experience from the pharmaceutical, biotech, and finance industries. Before working at Cereno he was Head of International Marketing Operations at Monsanto (GD Searle) and Global Marketing Director for Secondary Prevention Products, Cardiovasculars at AstraZeneca. Sten has previously initiated two groundbreaking preventive survival studies in heart failure: MERIT-HF and RALES and led them to global commercial success. Part of Cereno's Executive Management Team. Sten R. Sörensen hold a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Lund University.

Shareholding: 1,098,514 Class B shares and 250,000 warrants of Series 2019/2023 NO1, 666,666 warrants of Series KPO and 25,000 warrants of Series 3 (TO3)

Born 1953. Björn Dahlöf has extensive experience in cardiovascular research, pharmacology, drug development, and clinical trials (all phases) and has lectured in these areas internationally. Adviser to small and large pharmaceutical companies regarding drug development in all phases from preclinical development to larger lifecycle management studies after registration. Björn Dahlöf has initiated and led several major national and multinational mortality and morbidity studies that have had significance for guidelines in cardiovascular prevention and authored over 400 scientific publications. Björn Dahlöf is medical doctor from the University of Gothenburg, internal medicine physician and associate professor at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, University of Gothenburg. Member of the Board of PEXA AB, Goldwater Sweden AB. Chairman of the Board of BD Medical Consulting AB. Owner of BD Medical Consulting AB. Björn Dahlöf is dependent of the company, the company management and independent of major shareholders as defined by the Swedish Code of Corporate Governance.  

Shareholding: 1 008 079 B shares, 123 920 A shares and 444 444 warrants

Born 1965. Dr. Rahul Agrawal is an experienced senior executive leader with a diverse background spanning Big Pharma and biotech. His expertise encompasses the entire value chain including R&D, Medical Affairs, commercial and strategy experience across various therapeutic areas such as cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, and rare/orphan drugs and he has launched seven drugs globally. Previous roles include CMO at Cardior, VP and Global Medicines Leader at AstraZeneca, and Global Director of Medical Affairs and Clinical Development at Bayer HealthCare. Dr. Agrawal has an MD degree from the Free University of Berlin, Germany and Cornell University, New York, USA, and is board-certified in cardiology, internal medicine, and emergency medicine. Additionally, he holds an MBA from Buckinghamshire New University, UK. Dr. Agrawal is part of the Executive Management Team.  

Shareholding: -

Born 1961. Nicholas Oakes has more than 20 years of experience working in the pharmaceutical industry with both efficacy and safety-related aspects of preclinical research to discover and develop new effective and safe medicines in metabolic, cardiovascular, and renal disease areas. Part of Cereno's Executive Management Team. Nicholas Oakes holds a Ph.D. in cardiovascular and metabolic research from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Shareholding: 333 333 warrants

Born 1966. Eva Jagenheim has an M.Sc. in Business and Economics from Växjö University and an MBA from Gothenburg Business School. She has a broad experience of various roles within finance. Previous experience includes working as an accountant at PWC, consultant at the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, and at companies of varying sizes across several different industries. She most recently worked as CFO at RLS Global, a medtech company listed on Nasdaq First North Growth Market. Eva is part of the Executive Management Team.

Shareholding: 350 000 Class B shares

Born 1987. Julia Fransson is an experienced business development professional in the life science industry. Julia has experience from working with business development, strategy and valuation and in the life science industry both in operational, consultancy and investment settings. Previous roles include management positions within developing technology companies as well as, most recently, heading up a boutique life science strategy advisory firm. Julia holds a B.Sc. in Biotechnology and a M.Sc. in Business Design in life science companies from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. Julia is part of the Executive Management Team.  

Shareholding: -

Cereno Team

Born 1959. Sten Sörensen has extensive experience from the pharmaceutical, biotech, and finance industries. Before working at Cereno he was Head of International Marketing Operations at Monsanto (GD Searle) and Global Marketing Director for Secondary Prevention Products, Cardiovasculars at AstraZeneca. Sten has previously initiated two groundbreaking preventive survival studies in heart failure: MERIT-HF and RALES and led them to global commercial success. Part of Cereno's Executive Management Team. Sten R. Sörensen hold a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Lund University.

Shareholding: 1,098,514 Class B shares and 250,000 warrants of Series 2019/2023 NO1, 666,666 warrants of Series KPO and 25,000 warrants of Series 3 (TO3)

Born 1966. Eva Jagenheim has an M.Sc. in Business and Economics from Växjö University and an MBA from Gothenburg Business School. She has a broad experience of various roles within finance. Previous experience includes working as an accountant at PWC, consultant at the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, and at companies of varying sizes across several different industries. She most recently worked as CFO at RLS Global, a medtech company listed on Nasdaq First North Growth Market. Eva is part of the Executive Management Team.

Shareholding: 350 000 Class B shares

Born 1953. Björn Dahlöf has for many years been an adviser to small and large pharmaceutical companies regarding drug development in all phases from preclinical development to larger lifecycle management studies after registration. Björn Dahlöf has extensive experience in cardiovascular research, pharmacology, drug development, and clinical trials (all phases) and has lectured in these areas internationally. He has also initiated and led several major national and multinational mortality and morbidity studies that have had significance for guidelines in cardiovascular prevention and authored over 400 scientific publications. Part of Cereno's Executive Management Team. Björn Dahlöf is medical doctor from the University of Gothenburg, internal medicine physician and is associate professor at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, University of Gothenburg.

Shareholding: 1 008 079 B shares, 123 920 A shares and 444 444 warrants

Born 1961. Nicholas Oakes has more than 20 years of experience working in the pharmaceutical industry with both efficacy and safety-related aspects of preclinical research to discover and develop new effective and safe medicines in metabolic, cardiovascular, and renal disease areas. Part of Cereno's Executive Management Team. Nicholas Oakes holds a Ph.D. in cardiovascular and metabolic research from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Shareholding: 333 333 warrants

Born 1977. Jonas Faijerson Säljö has a research background in the stroke area with wide-ranging experience in the commercialization of medical innovations. Faijerson Säljö has significant expertise in intellectual property and business development experience from a large number of companies in the life science area. He is currently employed as Senior IP Business Consultant and CEO of Synergon AB. Jonas Faijerson Säljö holds a Ph.D. in Neurobiology and is a licensed pharmacist from the University of Gothenburg.

Shareholding: 907 904 B shares och 135 440 A shares, and 50 000 warrants of Series 2019/2023 S01

Born 1973. Fredrik Frick has extensive experience in research and development and 17 years of combined experience from working at AstraZeneca with early- to late-stage drug development including preclinical target identification, clinical drug discovery, clinical study management and operations and global project management of late-stage projects. Fredrik Frick holds a Ph.D. in Medical Physiology/Endocrinology from the University of Gothenburg.

Shareholding: 333 333 warrants

Born 1956. Jan-Peter Idström has a long experience from a wide range of senior roles within pharma and MedTech, including AstraZeneca and Vitrolife. He has worked in all development phases, from idea to finished product and has extensive experience of R&D for gastrointestinal (e.g., Losec® and Nexium®) and thrombosis/hemostasis products. In addition, he has led Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Medicine units at AstraZeneca. Most recently, he has advised Life Science start-up companies and worked to promote closer collaboration between industry, the health care sector and academia. Jan-Peter Idström holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Gothenburg.

Shareholding: 31 034 B shares

Born 1988. Skilled professional in communications, investor relations and integrated marketing within life sciences and healthcare. Specialized in public biotech companies headquartered in the Nordics. Broad experience in milestone communications at various points of the business and product life-cycle to disease awareness and patient adherence to brand building to crisis and issues management on global, regional and local markets. Previous experience in global healthcare PR for AstraZeneca, Merck KGaA and Bayer. Tove Bergenholt holds a M.Sc. in Digital Business Management from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Dual B.Sc. in Business Administration with specialization in Business Development and Accounting from the University of Borås.

Shareholding: -

Born 1985. 11 years of experience in Life Science communications from several Life Science agencies in Sweden and Denmark. Has mainly focused on PR, Strategic communication and disease awareness within rare diseases, migraine, RA, cystic fibrosis, male- and female health. Has also worked with crisis communications, global sales projects and regional market access. With a client history including Allergan, AbbVie, BMS, Ferring and Novo Nordisk, Henrik has a broad experience in handling complex communication projects on all levels, from global and Nordic, through national and regional to local. Henrik holds an MSc in Library and Information Science from University of Borås and a Bachelor in Journalism from Lund University and is also IMA Certified by the Swedish Pharmaceutical Industry Association.

Shareholding: 6,769 Class B shares and 3,700 warrants of Series 3 (TO3 B)

Born 1972. Dr. Michael Holinstat is an Associate Professor in Pharmacology and leads the translational programs in drug development in Hemostasis and Thrombosis in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Holinstat has built a "state of the art" laboratory to investigate the effects of different pharmacological principles on platelets and coagulation both in vitro and in vivo. Dr. Holinstat is primarily employed as an associate professor at the Department of Pharmacology, Internal Medicine (Division of Cardiovascular Medicine), and Vascular Surgery at University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Holinstat holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and completed postdoctoral training at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Shareholding: 222 222 warrants

Born 1988. Megha Ranjan has nearly a decade of experience supporting small to large-sized global life sciences companies in defining their strategies using comprehensive market insights, intelligence, and valuations. She has previously gained experience from roles in commercial and scientific teams at large pharmaceutical companies including BD&L valuations, real-world evidence analysis, go-to-market strategies, medical affairs and medical information. Megha Ranjan holds a B.Sc. in Dental Surgery and an MBA in Healthcare Management from IIHMR University, India.

Shareholding: -

Born 1986. Tatiane Abreu Dall’Agnol is a medical doctor with nearly a decade of clinical experience. She has previously also worked as a life science consultant advising biotech companies on drug development strategy and analysis; and gained experience in business development and competitive intelligence at Pieris Pharmaceuticals. Tatiane has a medical degree from the Universidade Positivo, Curitiba, PR, Brazil, and an M.Sc. in Business Creation and Entrepreneurship in Biomedicine from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Shareholding: -

Born 1987. Julia Fransson is an experienced business development professional in the life science industry. Julia has experience from working with business development, strategy and valuation and in the life science industry both in operational, consultancy and investment settings. Previous roles include management positions within developing technology companies as well as, most recently, heading up a boutique life science strategy advisory firm. Julia holds a B.Sc. in Biotechnology and a M.Sc. in Business Design in life science companies from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. Julia is part of the Executive Management Team.  

Shareholding: -

Born 1965. Dr. Rahul Agrawal is an experienced senior executive leader with a diverse background spanning Big Pharma and biotech. His expertise encompasses the entire value chain including R&D, Medical Affairs, commercial and strategy experience across various therapeutic areas such as cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, and rare/orphan drugs and he has launched seven drugs globally. Previous roles include CMO at Cardior, VP and Global Medicines Leader at AstraZeneca, and Global Director of Medical Affairs and Clinical Development at Bayer HealthCare. Dr. Agrawal has an MD degree from the Free University of Berlin, Germany and Cornell University, New York, USA, and is board-certified in cardiology, internal medicine, and emergency medicine. Additionally, he holds an MBA from Buckinghamshire New University, UK. Dr. Agrawal is part of the Executive Management Team.  

Shareholding: -

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Pitt is a Professor Emeritus in Medicine at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, US. Pitt assumed directorship of the division of Cardiology at the University of Michigan School of Medicine in 1977. Among his achievements, he has been awarded the James B Herrick award from the American Heart Association as well as life-time achievement awards from the Heart Failure Society of America and the European Heart Failure Society. He has served on the editorial boards of several cardiovascular journals and has published over 750 articles, chapters and books. Co-chairman, CVCT Global Forum.

Benza is currently System Director of Pulmonary Hypertension at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine, New York City, Principal Investigator of the Phase II study of CS1, and member of Cereno’s Scientific Advisory Board. He has extensive clinical trial experience with involvement in just over 60 different clinical trials. Benza has also been involved in around 325 publications, and written 6 books of which 3 are focused on pulmonary hypertension.    

Dr. Deepak Bhatt was Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School between 2012-2022. He has been listed in Best Doctors in America from 2005 to 2020. Dr. Bhatt has authored or co-authored over 1900 publications and has been listed by the Web of Science Group as a Highly Cited Researcher from 2014 to 2022. He is the Editor of Cardiovascular Intervention: A Companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease and of Opie's Cardiovascular Drugs: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease.

Olsson is an MD, PhD in Medical Sciences at the Karolinska Institute. He was previously Adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institute, and has extensive experience from leading R&D positions in the pharmaceutical industry. He has over 20 years of experience in different Global R&D management positions at AstraZeneca, and contributed to more than a dozen successful global product registrations for medicines in cardiovascular, vascular and gastrointestinal indications.

Dr. Williams is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School since 1981, and was the founder and Director of its Scholars in Clinical Science Program until 2008. A lifelong interest of Williams’ has been to understand the mechanisms by which aldosterone participates in cardiovascular diseases. He has published more than 600 original articles, reviews, chapters and books, including co-editing his seminal textbook “Clinical and Translational Science.”

Dr. Zannad is a Professor Emeritus of Therapeutics and Cardiology at Université de Lorraine, France. Zannad is involved in a number of major cardiovascular clinical trials, as a Principal Investigator and/or as a chair or member of several Steering Committees, Critical Event Committees and Data Safety and Monitoring Boards. Founder & chairman, CVCT Global Forum.