Lund, Sweden – Asgard Therapeutics AB (“Asgard”), a private biotech company pioneering in vivo direct reprogramming approaches for cancer immunotherapy, today announces the appointment of Martin Bonde as independent Chair of its Board of Directors. Martin Bonde has more than 25 years of international experience from the biotech industry, in executive and board positions. Asgard is a member of SmiLe Incubator.
Martin Bonde will succeed Lars Hedbys, who served as Chair of the Board since January 2021 and will continue as a non-executive independent director.
“We are delighted to welcome Martin Bonde as Independent Chair at Asgard as we transition to the next step as a drug development company. Martin brings a wealth of international experience in biotech, insights into building successful companies and boards, and a commitment to advancing innovative therapies for cancer patients. We look forward to working together and advance the preclinical studies of our proprietary in-vivo reprogramming strategies. I also wish to take this occasion to thank Lars Hedbys for his essential and invaluable contribution in the first steps of spinning-out a company from Lund University and evolving to a VC-backed company,” says Cristiana Pires, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO of Asgard Therapeutics.
“I am very pleased to be joining Asgard as Chair of the Board and working alongside my fellow Board members and our management team. Asgard’s innovative direct reprogramming technology clearly holds the potential to become a first-in-class cancer immunotherapy approach for the benefit of patients with cancers with high unmet medical need,” says Martin Bonde, incoming independent Chair of the Board of Directors of Asgard Therapeutics.
Currently, Martin Bonde is CEO of Swiss-based oncology company Inthera Bioscience AG. Prior to this, he has held several leadership positions as CEO including Vaccibody AS (now Nykode Therapeutics AS, Euronext Growth Oslo:VACC), Epitherapeutics Aps (sold to Gilead Sciences, Inc.), NatImmune A/S (sold to Azanta A/S), Combio A/S (sold to Arpida AG), Torsana Biosensor (sold to Celtor Bioscience, Inc.), and Osteometer Biotech (now Nordic Bioscience A/S). His experience includes a significant number of transactions within business development, trade sales, mergers and acquisitions as well as management of research and development. In addition, Martin Bonde serves on the Board of Directors in digital pathology software company Visiopharm A/S and in BioInnovation Institute (BII), an international life science incubator funded by the Novo-Nordisk Foundation. Martin Bonde holds a Master of Science and Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark as well as a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (HD i Udenrigshandel) from Copenhagen Business School.
Last year, Asgard Therapeutics raised EUR 6 million in a seed financing round, co-led by Novo Holdings, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) and Industrifonden. The recent raise has helped Asgard advancing its innovative in-vivo direct reprogramming strategies as well as expanding the research and development team at Asgard’s laboratory and offices at SmiLe Incubator, Medicon Village.
Asgard Therapeutics is developing a gene delivery platform that reprograms cancer cells into professional antigen-presenting dendritic cells, allowing the presentation of their own tumor antigens to the immune system, thereby eliciting potent anti-cancer immune responses. This off-the-shelf therapy induces personalized immune responses, while at the same time bypassing hurdles with traditional cell-based therapies as well as neoantigen identification.
Martin Bonde will serve as Chair of the Board of Directors, currently composed by João Ribas (Novo Holdings), Philipp Müller (BIVF), Jonas Jendi (Industrifonden), Filipe Pereira (Scientific co-founder and Professor at Lund University) and Lars Hedbys, previous Chair that continues as non-executive independent director.
For more information, please contact:
Cristiana Pires, Co-founder and CEO
+46 (0) 731 566 072
About Asgard Therapeutics
Asgard Therapeutics is a private biotech company exploring the application of direct cell reprogramming technologies for cancer immunotherapies. Formed as a spin-off from Lund University, the Company is pioneering a gene therapy approach based on its proprietary reprogramming technology, designed to set in motion immune responses based on the biological properties of professional antigen presenting cells. Backed by Novo Holdings, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and Industrifonden, Asgard aims to build a pipeline of personalized cancer immunotherapies optimized to each unique patient. www.asgardthx.com
SmiLe Incubator is a life science business incubator based in Medicon Village in Lund, Sweden. SmiLe helps entrepreneurs commercialize their ideas. There are currently 30 companies in SmiLe which, together with alumni companies, have attracted more than EUR 664 million in venture capital to date since 2014. SmiLe offers excellent business coaching, a broad international network of contacts and a dynamic community, as well as well-equipped laboratories which is unique of its kind in Sweden. SmiLe is a non-profit organization and receives basic funding from Region Skåne, Lund Municipality, Lund University and Medicon Village. SmiLe´s sponsors are Agilent, Sparbanken Skåne, Awa, Høiberg, Prevas, Setterwalls, Zacco, Magle Chemoswed, NanoTemper Technologies, Phase Holographic Imaging and ChemoMetec. SmiLe’s 20 listed alumni companies have a market capitalization of more than EUR 824 million (Q4 2021). www.smileincubator.life