Aqilion in Brief

Aqilion is a Swedish life science company focusing on early stage projects and develops them in close collaboration with innovators, shepherding them from ideas to completed attractive projects for the industry.

Aqilion accommodates each effort in an individual subsidiary company supported by shared central resources. This corporate structure enables focus at level of each disease and specific project but provides diversification and the ability to scale across many opportunities.

In early 2019, legacy PULS changed its name to Aqilion as a step toward repositioning the company and strengthening brand awareness. The word “Aqilion” derives from Aquila, the Latin for eagle, and from the Aquila constellation, seen in the Nordic sky. The name symbolizes the concept of a constellation of partners, as well as the ability to exercise an “eagle eye” by applying the company’s extensive experience to identify and pursue unique opportunities.

Since the start back in 2002, Aqilion (legacy PULS) has started 13 projects:

  • Current Aqilion projects are Alhena, Alnitak, Laccure, Oncorena and Trophea.
  • One was outlicensed: Laccure in 2017; however, the license deal was discontinued in 2019 and Laccure continues to pursue product development.
  • Four were sold: Ambria Technlogy in 2009, Pulsetten in 2011, Belina and Glactone Pharma in 2019.
  • Two were floated on the stock market: LIDDS in 2014 and AcuCort in 2017.
  • Two were discontinued: Pharmapnea in 2014 and Adenovir Pharma in 2019.

Aqilion has its headquarters in Helsingborg, Sweden, with regional offices in Gothenburg and Danderyd (Stockholm/Uppsala).

Corporate Information

Company name: AQILION AB
Reg. No: 556623-2095
VAT No: SE556623209501
Founded: Helsingborg, Sweden, in 2002
Address: Headquarters
Kullagatan 8, SE-252 20 Helsingborg, Sweden
Regional office – Gothenburg
Sahlgrenska Science Park
Medicinaregatan 8A, SE-413 46 Gothenburg, Sweden

Regional office – Stockholm/Uppsala
Svärdvägen 3B, SE-182 33 Danderyd, Sweden

Business model

About the business model

In Aqilion’s business model, early-stage project development delivers the value proposition and is the key cost driver. Revenue and return on investment are based on co-development, licensing deals or through M&A.

Aqilion strives to keep fixed costs low, while minimizing project costs by sharing resources, creating long-term relationships with specialists, CRO and CMOs, and identifying partners for co-financing approaches where necessary. Once external financing resources are invested directly in an idea, the project is converted into a separate legal entity. Some projects may start as separate legal entities early in the development process, depending on how the project was initiated.

Objectives

Aqilion’s long-term objectives are:

  • To build a sustainable biopharma company
  • To continuously manage 8-10 projects in the portfolio
  • To generate a strong return and value growth with the goal of reaching a level of return on a par with a pharmaceutical company, with continuous value growth over time
  • To be an attractive partner to co-investors, buyers and pharmaceutical companies representing the next level of the value chain in drug development
  • To be an attractive partner to innovative individuals and organizations with a unique and promising innovation

Main strategies

  • Build a project portfolio with diversified risk in order to manage cashflow over time
  • Scout both industry and academia for new projects
  • Build and nurture a highly experienced team and a complementary network with key skills
  • Strengthen a proactive outreach and transparent communication strategy
  • Build trust and network with potential partners and co-investors to increase awareness
  • Secure a financial plan to support the long-term objectives

Board

Johan Lund – Chairman since 2018

MD, PhD. Dr Johan Lund is an experienced scientific leader of drug discovery and development. He is the CEO and co-founder of KyNexis Medicine Development AB and founder of MBS Pharma. Most recently, he was Vice President of Translational R&D, at Celgene, Cambridge, MA, USA, where he was responsible for discovery and early development of new therapies for diseases within Inflammation and Immunology. Prior positions include Chief Scientific Officer, Immunoscience Research Unit at Pfizer, Cambridge, MA, and 14 years with AstraZeneca in senior positions in both Sweden and the UK, VP CNS & Pain Innovative Medicines Science and VP Respiratory and Inflammation Research. Presently, he is also member of the Board of Directors at Olink Proteomics, Genagon Therapeutics and TCER AB.

 

Jörgen Johnsson – Vice Chairman since 2011

Former CEO of Pharmacia Consumer Healthcare worldwide, Senior Vice President of Pharmacia Corporation and a member of Pharmacia’s Executive Management Group from 1995-2000. Mr. Johnsson is the founder of P.U.L.S. AB, board member of Laccure AB and an innovator in multiple Aqilion project companies.

Roland Andersson – Board member since 2018

MD, PhD, Professor of surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Sweden. Professor Roland Andersson’s clinical practice and research focuses on malignancies of the pancreas, liver and biliary tract. He leads a translational research group focused on the development of new biomarker panels for diagnostics, forecasting, prediction, choice of therapy and outcomes, as well as the disease itself. He has published about 500 original articles, reviewed articles and book chapters, and has been a supervisor for 30 PhD students. He has an extensive international network and, as an entrepreneur, has founded six companies.

Marie Lidgard – Board member since 2014

LL.M, Senior Partner Lavindia AB, a lawyer by training with extensive experience in the financial services industry. Marie Lidgard’s background includes Managing Director of the Swedish Investment Fund Association and Senior Vice President of Nordea Investment Management. She has also been involved with recruitment and worked for the Swedish Ministry of Industry, where she was responsible for recruiting board members to state-owned companies. In recent years, she has been active as an investor and founder of several new enterprises, and currently serves on the board of six companies and organizations.

Martin Olovsson – Board member since 2019

B.Sc., Business Administration. Martin Olovsson is an experienced leader with broad experience from portfolio & product strategy, life cycle management, bridging science & market and commercial excellence among others. Currently CEO of AstraZeneca’s spin-out company OnDosis developing and commercializing a connected handheld dosing device platform for oral medicines. From 1992-2017 he has held several international senior positions within Astra/AstraZeneca, for example, President of the Nordic/Baltic marketing- and sales company and Vice President Inhaled Respiratory franchise, Global Portfolio & Product Strategy.

Andreas Segerros – Board member since 2018

M.Sc., MBA. Andreas Segerros has spent most of his career in the global pharma, in executive positions (R&D, Marketing and Business Development) in the US, Europe and Japan, at Pharmacia Corporation, Pharmacia & Upjohn and Ferring. His venture capital experience comes from being Venture Partner och Partner at Sunstone Capital. He has made numerous investments in successful life science growth companies, and sits on the Board of a number of a number of US and European biotechs.

Karin Wingstrand – Board member since 2013

M.Sc. Pharmacy. Karin Wingstrand has extensive senior experience of pharmaceutical research and development from roles such as Global Head and Vice President Clinical Development at AstraZeneca, as well as Global Head and Vice President Pharmaceutical and Analytical R&D, AstraZeneca. Presently she serves as a board member and advisor in the life sciences.

Corporate Governance

Aqilion is a privately held Swedish company, corporate identity no. 556623-2095, with its registered office in Helsingborg, Sweden.

Corporate governance refers to the rules and decision-making hierarchies that contribute to the efficient and controlled management of the operations of a company, with the aim of meeting the owners’ demands for return on invested capital. Corporate governance in Sweden has traditionally been regulated by law. In addition, the industry’s self-regulatory bodies have continuously presented various provisions concerning corporate governance.

The Swedish Code of Corporate Governance (“the Code”) issued by the Swedish Corporate Governance Board is not mandatory for Aqilion, but the board will closely follow the practices developed for the Code and intends to apply the Code in those parts that may be deemed relevant to the company and its shareholders.

The concept of corporate governance describes the decision support system by which the company is governed. Aqilion is committed to maintaining a high standard of governance through the clarity and simplicity of its management systems and governing documents. Governance of the company is based on of the company’s articles of association, the Code, and other applicable laws and regulations.

In Aqilion all shares carry the same voting rights, which means that opportunities to exercise influence as an owner are consistent with each shareholder’s capital share in the company.

History

AQILION AB, legacy PULS (Partners for Development Investments in Life Sciences, P.U.L.S. AB), was founded on February 1, 2002, in Helsingborg, Sweden, by a group of people with backgrounds in the pharmaceutical industry and research. The founders had realized that many commercially interesting projects never leave the academic setting due to lack of resources and inadequate product and business development skills. They also noted a growing need in the pharma industry to license new projects and products. Thus, the company began as a bridge between academia and industry.

The company became operational in the fall of 2003. The first project, LIDDS AB, started in the fall of 2003, followed by DuoCort AB in the spring of 2004.

In early 2019, PULS changed its name to Aqilion as a step toward repositioning the company and strengthening brand awareness. The word “Aqilion” derives from Aquila, the Latin for eagle, and as in the Aquila constellation in the Nordic sky. The name is inspired both by the concept of a constellation of partners, and by the desire to exercise an “eagle eye” by applying the company’s extensive experience to identify and pursue unique opportunities.

Aqilion (legacy PULS) has started 13 projects of which 11 have become separate companies:

  • Current Aqilion projects are: Alhena (in-house project), Alnitak (in-house project),  Laccure, Oncorena and Trophea.
  • One was outlicensed: Laccure in 2017, though the license deal was discontinued in 2019 and Laccure continues to engage in product development.
  • Four were sold: Ambria Technlogy in 2009, DuoCort Pharma in 2011, Belina and Glactone Pharma in 2019.
  • Two were floated on the stock market: LIDDS in 2014 and AcuCort in 2017.
  • Two were discontinued: Pharmapnea in 2014 and Adenovir Pharma in 2019.

Aqilion has its headquarters in Helsingborg, Sweden, with regional office in Gothenburg and Danderyd (Stockholm/Uppsala).

© Copyright 2019 Aqilion AB