New firm will include existing portfolio company Akinion and four to five new project businesses.

Swedish life science investor and incubator organization Karolinska Development has established a new oncology umbrella company, KDev Oncology, to progress existing and future oncology projects supported by the investment firm. KDev Oncology will encompass existing portfolio company Akinion Pharmaceuticals, and will also have the infrastructure to include another four to five new project companies in the oncology field.

“It is our strong belief that this will not only help recruit top competence within oncology and attract new pharmaceutical projects, but also that it will attract co-investments and support exits when projects are successful,” comments Torbjörn Bjerke, Karolinska Development CEO. The organization made a similar move in 2009, when it put all its dermatology and wound-healing interests under the umbrella company Pergamum. This model of grouping therapeutic areas will also be used considered for other project companies, the firm states.

“These new groups will allow for strengthened scientific development and cooperation, critical mass, and efficient use of resources,” adds Terje Kalland, KDev board chairman and Karolinska Develpoment CSL. “Therapeutic area groups will primarily include new projects, and existing Karolinska Development project companies only where doing so supports the efficiency of the group, as in this case in oncology.”

Karolinska Development has an exclusive agreement with the Karolinska Institutet’s technology transfer arm and deals with other Nordic universities as sources of technological innovation. Its existing portfolio comprises 34 projects, 14 of which are in clincial development. 

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