About us

At a glance

Cereno Scientific is a leading clinical stage biotech company within cardiovascular epigenetics. The lead drug candidate, CS1, a key reformulation of valproic acid (VPA), is a Phase II candidate in development for the treatment of the rare disease pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). CS1 is an HDAC (Histone DeACetylase) inhibitor that acts as an epigenetic modulator with anti-thrombotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic and pressure reducing properties.

The experienced team at Cereno has a new approach to cardiovascular treatments aiming to improve the health of patients with conditions that have high unmet needs, such as conditions with thrombosis, fibrosis, high pressure and inflammation. Cereno is the first to apply the approach of epigenetic modulation within cardiovascular diseases, as it has previously only been used in oncology.

Cereno has a pipeline of epigenetic modulators, HDAC inhibitors, with the lead candidate CS1 in Phase II as well as several candidates in preclinical phase. Drug candidate CS1 has achieved an orphan drug designation from the US FDA in PAH, a validation of the major unmet clinical needs for the disease that provides certain benefits in the development process.

Cereno is dedicated to improve the health of cardiovascular patients worldwide by unlocking the potential of epigenetic modulation in common and rare diseases.

Board of Directors

Born 1952. Chairman of Cereno Scientific since November 2015. Bäärnhielms has a long experience from a variety of senior roles in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently as VP and Global Project Manager at AstraZeneca. Bäärnhielm’s experience covers all phases of the drug development process, from idea to finished drug. Bäärnhielm has extensive experience in global research and development strategies for both small molecules and biologics in various disease areas. Bäärhielm has headed up a large research organization and has extensive experience of running collaborations between industry and academia. Bäärnhielm is Chairman of the Board of Cereno Scientific AB and a member of the GU Ventures board of directors. Bäärnhielm is a pharmacist and holds a Ph.D. in pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism.

Born 1953. Dahlöf has been a board member since the company was started in April 2012 and the Chief Medical Officer since September 2018. Dahlöf has practiced General Internal Medicine at Sahlgrenska Hospital for over 35 years and is an Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Prevention at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. Dahlöf has extensive experience in cardiovascular research, pharmacology, drug development, and clinical trials (all phases) and has lectured in these areas internationally. 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. Dahlöf has initiated and led several major national and multinational mortality and morbidity studies that have had significance for guidelines in cardiovascular prevention.

Born 1977. Board member since the company was started in 2012 and Chief Intellectual Property Officer since 2019. Faijerson Säljö is a PhD in Neurobiology and a licensed pharmacist. He 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.

Born 1954. Board member of Cereno Scientific AB since 2012. Jern is a Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology at Gothenburg University and chief of Clinical Physiology at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital. It is 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 the basis for the new treatment that Cereno Scientific is developing. Jern has published about 150 scientific papers in respected scientific journals and has also developed and published medical textbooks and interactive training programs. Jern has been in charge of ECG analysis in several of the largest international cardiovascular intervention studies. Jern is one of the founders of Cereno Scientific AB.

Born 1951. Board member since October 2018. Licensed physician, medical doctor, and lecturer with over 20 years of experience in academic medicine; his scientific focus is cardiovascular diseases. After a period in academia, Dr. Svensson moved to AstraZeneca, whereas a Vice President he was responsible for the clinical development of cardiovascular — and later gastrointestinal — drugs. In 2007, he moved to Switzerland to lead global clinical development of diabetes and cardiovascular drugs at one of the world’s leading drug companies, F. Hoffmann-LaRoche. After nearly 20 years in leading positions in the global drug industry, with management responsibilities for groups in Europe, the US, and China, Anders Svensson has a great deal of experience in international drug development and an extensive contact network. He has nearly 100 publications to his name and is currently a consultant and board member at Tikomed AB.

Born 1975. Board member in Cereno Scientific since 2014. CEO of GU Ventures, University of Gothenburg’s holding company. GU Ventures operates as an incubator and invests in the commercialization of innovations. Österberg is a graduate in business administration and works actively with financing, start-ups and managing companies within the GU Ventures AB sphere. Previous assignments include the business plan competition, Venture Cup, various Volvo companies, Daimler Chrysler and Geveko Industries.

Born in 1958. Board member in Cereno Scientific since 2021. Piir has many years of experience in business and acquisition analysis, capital market matters, investor relations and alliance management towards global companies. He also provides advice to listed life science companies in business planning, strategy development, financing, and transactions. Previously, he has been Head of Analysis at Carnegie Investment Bank, CFO/Head of Investor Relations at listed Medivir and auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ongoing Board assignments include IRLAB.

Born 1979. Bergh has been a deputy member at Cereno Scientific since November 2015. He is responsible for the R&D program and is the company’s Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). Bergh is an Associate Professor in Experimental Cardiology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. Bergh is a specialist in internal medicine and a resident physician in cardiology. Bergh works as a cardiology specialist at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and is an expert on the body's defense system against blood clots. Bergh has extensive experience from experimental and clinical research with a primary focus on understanding and stimulating the body's own defense system against blood clots. Bergh is one of the founders of Cereno Scientific AB.

Born 1964. Deputy member in Cereno Scientific since 2021. Dahlberg has a law degree from Lund University and has been a business developer and in-house lawyer at GU Ventures for over 10 years. Dahlberg has worked as a lawyer and partner at a business law firm and has also been CEO of companies in international trade and distribution as well as COO and CEO of a startup in digital marketing communication targeting the global pharmaceutical industry.

Management

Born 1959. CEO for Cereno Scientific since September 2015. Sörensen has extensive experience from the pharmaceutical, biotech and finance industries, as well as board experience. Sörensen was previously Head of International Marketing Operations, Monsanto (GD Searle) and Global Marketing Director for Secondary Prevention Products, Cardiovasculars, AstraZeneca. Sörensen has previously initiated two groundbreaking preventive survival studies in heart failure: MERIT-HF and RALES, and led them to global commercial success.

Born 1986. Chief Financial Officer at Cereno Scientific since May 2019, previously acting CFO since May 2018. Brodén has a Bachelor's degree in Business and Economics from Uppsala university and a Master's degree in Accounting from University of Gothenburg. Brodén has previously been the financial manager for GU Ventures portfolio companies and has previously worked as an auditor at Frejs Revisorer and at PwC's Financial services department.

Born 1953. Dahlöf has been a board member since the company was started in April 2012 and the Chief Medical Officer since September 2018. Dahlöf has practiced General Internal Medicine at Sahlgrenska Hospital for over 35 years and is an Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Prevention at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. Dahlöf has extensive experience in cardiovascular research, pharmacology, drug development, and clinical trials (all phases) and has lectured in these areas internationally. 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. Dahlöf has initiated and led several major national and multinational mortality and morbidity studies that have had significance for guidelines in cardiovascular prevention.

Born 1979. Bergh has been a deputy member at Cereno Scientific since November 2015. He is responsible for the R&D program and is the company’s Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). Bergh is an Associate Professor in Experimental Cardiology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. Bergh is a specialist in internal medicine and a resident physician in cardiology. Bergh works as a cardiology specialist at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and is an expert on the body's defense system against blood clots. Bergh has extensive experience from experimental and clinical research with a primary focus on understanding and stimulating the body's own defense system against blood clots. Bergh is one of the founders of Cereno Scientific AB.

Born 1977. Board member since the company was started in 2012 and Chief Intellectual Property Officer since 2019. Faijerson Säljö is a PhD in Neurobiology and a licensed pharmacist. He 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.

Born 1971. Seppä holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and a M.Sc. in Pharmacy from the University of Helsinki. Her research activities focused on preclinical CNS pharmacology. Seppä spent fourteen years in pharmaceutical industry acting as a regulatory lead for early and late-stage clinical development projects, responsible for managing regulatory authority interactions and development of clinical trial and marketing authorization applications globally. Seppä has also six years of experience in government supervision of pharmaceutical industry, having worked for Finnish Medicines Agency as a GCP Inspector and a Hospital Pharmacy Inspector. Currently employed by NDA Group AB.

Dr. Holinstat holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and completed postdoctoral training at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. His research interests include areas such as thrombosis, pharmacology and hematology. Dr. Holinstat is an Associate Professor in Pharmacology and lead 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.

Born 1956. Senior Director Development in Cereno Scientific since 2017. Idström has a long experience from a wide range of senior roles within pharma and medtech, including AstraZeneca and Vitrolife. Idström has worked in all development phases, from idea to finished product. He has an extensive experience of R&D for gastrointestinal (e.g. Losec® and Nexium®) and thrombosis/haemostasis products. In addition, he has led Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Medicine units at AstraZeneca. Most recently, Idström has advised Life Science start-up companies and worked to promote closer collaboration between industry, the health care sector and academia. Idström has a PhD in biochemistry.

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. Currently employed by MSC Nordics.

Born 1988. Experienced strategy professional with a long track record of performing and leading strategic analysis in the life science space. 10+ years of international experience from top-tier life science companies and management consultancies, including Novozymes, Deloitte and KPMG Strategy. Specialized in supporting life science companies with business development projects including areas such as market analysis, competitor research, investor presentations and asset valuation. Currently employed by MSC Nordics.

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.

Benza is currently Professor and Director of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Benza 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.

Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

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.