Viktor Drvota


MD, PhD. CEO of Karolinska Development since 2017. 19 years in venture capital with extensive experience from a wide range of investments, IPOs and exits. Previously at SEB Venture Capital as Head of Life science venture, 2002-2016 and associate professor in cardiology, Karolinska University Hospital, 1991-2002

Torbjörn Bäckström

Principle Founder

MD, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Umecrine AB, is currently 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 and he is a frequently invited key-note speaker at scientific meetings around the world.

John Öhd

MD, PhD. Current CSO at Karolinska Development. Broad knowledge and experience of drug development. Previous leadership roles within R&D of AstraZeneca, Shire Pharmaceuticals, and Medivir. Experience include several research and clinical positions at Lund university and Karolinska Institutet/university hospital.

Bruce Scharschmidt

MD, Ph.D. Currently Independent Director and/or consultant to development-stage biotechnology companies. Most recently Sr. VP/Chief Medical & Development Officer, Hyperion Therapeutics, where he was responsible for the development of glycerol phenylbutyrate (GPB, RAVICTI®), approved for treatment of urea cycle disorders in the US (2013), Europe and Canada (2015/6) and the successful phase 2 trial of GPB for hepatic encephalopathy. Was inventor/co-inventor on all Hyperion IP, a member of Hyperion’s road show team leading to its 2012 IPO, 2013 secondary offering and May 2015 sale to Horizon Pharma, to which he remains a consultant. Previously held senior positions at Novartis, Chiron and the Univ. of CA, San Francisco (UCSF), where he was Professor of Medicine and Chief of Gastroenterology, helped launch the UCSF liver transplant program and was an NIH-funded investigator for two decades. Author of over 200 research and review articles and multiple issued and pending patents, he served as Assoc. Editor of Gastroenterology, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and President of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, he was a member of the National Board of Directors of the American Liver Foundation from 2005-2013 and is currently a member of the External Advisory Board for the Clinical and Translational Science Program at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, President of Northwestern’s Medical Alumni Board and member of the President’s Council Executive Committee for the J David Gladstone Institute.

Thomas P. Blackburn

Dr. Thomas P. Blackburn brings more than 40 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, where he has held C-level and senior management positions at major Pharmaceuticals (ICI, Beecham/SmithKline Beecham) and US biotech companies (Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corporation and Helicon Therapeutics). His extensive knowledge of pre-clinical and clinical drug development in neuroscience led to the clinical development of antidepressant/anxiolytics (Seroxat®/Paxil®), anticonvulsants, antimigraine, sleep and cognitive disorders (MCI, Alzheimer’s Disease, ADHD), along with commercial strategies for positioning pharmaceutical products with U.S., European and Japanese regulatory authorities.  Dr. Blackburn has authored more than 100 scientific papers, review articles, book chapters, and is currently Reviews Editor for the British Journal of Pharmacology.  He is an inventor/co-inventor on 22 patents and holds a Ph.D., D.Sc., from the University of Manchester, he is an Honorary Fellow and President Emeritus of The British Pharmacological Society, a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB). He also serves as a board member of Motac Neurosciences Ltd., a company that specializes in pre-clinical models of Parkinson’s disease and neurodegeneration.