Kajsa Larsson - experienced CMO with a focus on patient safety
Chief Medical Officer Kajsa Larsson is a licensed physician specializing in hematology and internal medicine with clinical and industry experience. She also has a Ph.D. in Medicine. With great commitment and focus on patient safety, she leads Cinclus Pharma's medical study.
Describe your background, who you are, and how you came to work at Cinclus Pharma.
"It is a fantastic opportunity to be part of building a Swedish company that develops a product that can make a big difference for many people worldwide. It's fun, exciting, inspiring, and gives me a good gut feeling. I'm a doctor by training and worked clinically for 15 years in internal medicine and hematology, mainly at Karolinska Hospital in Huddinge, before moving to the pharmaceutical industry in 2009. I have worked with medical issues, research, and development in several companies.
In her role as Medical Director at Cinclus Pharma, Kajsa will use her experience from previous positions as a practicing physician. The industry knowledge she has accumulated from her years in the pharmaceutical industry is also valuable.
"When I met Christer Ahlberg, Peter Unge, and Kjell Andersson, they conveyed an exciting dynamic, openness, and intellectual rigor that attracted me. For me, it is just as important to make a difference as it is to have a stimulating everyday life. In addition to having a drug candidate with high potential, Cinclus offers the opportunity to work in a competent and humble team."
Please tell us what you do and what you think is most important for Cinclus Pharma right now.
"As CMO, I am ultimately responsible for the medical aspects of the studies' structure. This means, among other things, that I need to solve problems that arise and review deviations and side effects. My focus is always on patient safety. This applies both to those involved in the studies and future users - provided, of course, that the product is approved. It is imperative that the product does what it is supposed to do, is safe, and that patients benefit from it."
In the role of CMO, the clinical work with patient contact is linked to research - a perfect combination of strategic and commercial work, according to Kajsa.
"It's a perfect position. I enjoy the complexity and the great responsibility of being CMO, and I also have many talented and competent colleagues to help me. It is exciting and challenging to be involved in the entire development journey and hopefully launch a product on the market. We believe in linaprazan glurate, and I hope we can help many people in the future. There are many GERD patients who, despite good medicines, do not get well."
What happens now, and what are Cinclus Pharma's challenges?
"Designing the study program in phase III to get the data we need for approval is challenging. This includes adapting the studies to geographical and cultural differences and meeting requirements in the selected areas. I am reviewing how the studies are organized and structured. It is important that the studies are safe and secure for patients and that they give us the answers the authorities seek. At the same time, the studies should be easy to conduct."
Before an application to get a drug approved, a functioning safety database needs to be in place, which Cinclus is now preparing. There is a clear ambition that as many people as possible, especially researchers and doctors, should be able to access study results.
"I think it is important that people can follow the development of linaprazan glurate. We want to be as transparent as possible."
Kajsa finds building a business stimulating, and she enjoys working in a strategic, visionary, and long-term way. She sees open communication, trust, and close cooperation as keys to a rapidly growing company.
"Cinclus is a small company with few individuals, and it is easy to get growing pains. We are a good team that helps each other find the right balance and work smart and efficiently without compromising safety or ethics. It's a fantastic journey to be part of. The only limit to what we can achieve together is in our imagination," Kajsa concludes.