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 Security Holding Sverige 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 Umeå University, behavioral science at Linköping 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 and 3,000,000 warrants

Born 1953. Dr. Gunnar 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. Gunnar Olsson has been on the board of ESC, that awarded him the ESC President Award in recogni­tion of his outstanding lifetime achievements, in 2023. Dr. Gunnar Olsson is the CEO and Board Member of IRLAB Therapeutics AB. He is also a Board Member in, among others, Amplifier Tx AB, and Gesynta Pharma AB as well as being Vice Chair for the Swedish Heart Lung Foundation and Bundy Academy, Lund University. He was a Board Member in Cereno Scientific between 2016-2018 and has been a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board since this was established in 2019. Dr. Gunnar Olsson has been a Senior Advisor to the Executive Management Team since 2018 and is a Member of the Clinical Steering Committee of the ongoing clinical Phase II study with CS1 in PAH.

Shareholding: 600 000 warrants

Born 1951. Dr. 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. 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: 488,200 B shares and 1,100,000 warrants

Born 1959. Sten R. Sörensen has extensive expe­rience from the pharma, biotech, and finance industries. Before Cereno, he held senior positions in major pharma including Head of International Marketing Operations for the 10 BSEK pharma portfolio at Monsanto and Global Marketing Director for the 4 BSEK portfolio of Secondary Prevention Products, Cardiovasculars at AstraZeneca. At Monsanto and AstraZeneca, he initiated two ground­breaking preventive survival studies in heart failure, RALES and MERIT-HF, both establishing a paradigm shift for mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonism and beta-blocker drug therapies in heart failure, sig­nificantly improving quality of life and life expectancy. He is Chairman of SARomics Biostructure and Board Member of SynAct Pharma. 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 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 is Co-founder, board member and CEO at SynAct Pharma AB (publ), and has previously been CEO at 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. Øvlesen 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 R. Sörensen has extensive expe­rience from the pharma, biotech, and finance industries. Before Cereno, he held senior positions in major pharma including Head of International Marketing Operations for the 10 BSEK pharma portfolio at Monsanto and Global Marketing Director for the 4 BSEK portfolio of Secondary Prevention Products, Cardiovasculars at AstraZeneca. At Monsanto and AstraZeneca, he initiated two ground­breaking preventive survival studies in heart failure, RALES and MERIT-HF, both establishing a paradigm shift for mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonism and beta-blocker drug therapies in heart failure, sig­nificantly improving quality of life and life expectancy. He is Chairman of SARomics Biostructure and Board Member of SynAct Pharma. 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 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.  

Shareholding: -

Born 1953. Björn Dahlöf has over 35 years of clinical experience added to his 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. Dr. Björn Dahlöf is a Medical doctor from the University of Gothenburg, internal medicine physician and associate professor at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, University of Gothenburg.

Shareholding: 123 920 A shares, 1,439,076 B shares, 333,333 Qualified Personnel Warrants and 2,500,000 Warrants Series 2023/2026:1

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 Fransson holds a B.Sc. in Biotechnology and a M.Sc. in Business Design in life science companies from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.  

Shareholding: -

Born 1966. Eva Jagenheim 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 dif- ferent industries. She most recently worked as CFO at RLS Global, a medtech company listed on Nasdaq First North Growth Market. Eva Jagnheim has a M.Sc. in Business and Economics from Växjö University and an MBA from Gothenburg Business School.

Shareholding: 275,000 Class B shares and 1,000,000 warrants of series 2023/2026

  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. Nicholas Oakes holds a Ph.D. in cardiovascular and metabolic research from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Shareholding: 333,333 warrants of series 2023/2026 and 250,000 warrants of series KPO

Cereno Team

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: 1,107,904 B shares and 135,440 A shares

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: 15,786 Class B shares

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: -

J. Donald (Don) de Bethizy, PhD has more than 30 years of experience in managing and financing life science-related technologies and has played a key role in building and advising several life sciences companies. Don de Bethizy advised the CEO and board of NDA Group AB one of the world’s leading private biotechnology regulatory consulting firms until its sale to SSI Strategy in 2023. In 2017, Don facilitated the management buyout of Albumedix Ltd from Novozymes A/S and the subsequent sale of Albumedix Ltd to Sartorius for 415 MGBP in late 2022. He is currently President of White City Consulting ApS (Denmark), a Director at Lophora ApS (Denmark) and Proterris Inc (USA), as well as Vice Chair of the board of argenx NV a global commercial immunology company headquartered in Gent, Belgium with 2023 sales of 1.2 BUSD of its first drug Vyvgart in the rare autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis. In 2014, in his role as Chief Executive Officer of the Danish biotech Santaris Pharma A/S, he led the sale of the company to Roche for 450 MUSD. He co-founded Targacept, Inc. and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer for 15 years. Don de Bethizy led Targacept’s private and US Nasdaq public financings totaling approximately 330 MUSD, including the Company’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) in April 2006. Don de Bethizy holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Maryland and an M.S. and PhD in Toxicology from Utah State University.

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.

Born 1953. Dr. Gunnar 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. Gunnar Olsson has been on the board of ESC, that awarded him the ESC President Award in recogni­tion of his outstanding lifetime achievements, in 2023. Dr. Gunnar Olsson is the CEO and Board Member of IRLAB Therapeutics AB. He is also a Board Member in, among others, Amplifier Tx AB, and Gesynta Pharma AB as well as being Vice Chair for the Swedish Heart Lung Foundation and Bundy Academy, Lund University. He was a Board Member in Cereno Scientific between 2016-2018 and has been a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board since this was established in 2019. Dr. Gunnar Olsson has been a Senior Advisor to the Executive Management Team since 2018 and is a Member of the Clinical Steering Committee of the ongoing clinical Phase II study with CS1 in PAH.

Shareholding: 600 000 warrants

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.