Pernilla Abrahamsson, COO Lipum

Life science industry figurehead Pernilla Abrahamsson has left her position as Product Development Manager at stock market listed Senzime to become Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Lipum, located at the Umeå Biotech Incubator.

Pernilla Abrahamsson had previously developed the OnZurf Probe at her own company MD Biomedical – a product that makes it easier and safer to monitor internal organs during and after an operation.

MD Biomedical was bought by Senzime, a stock market listed company based in Uppsala, four years ago. Since then Pernilla Abrahamsson has worked as Product Development Manager at Senzime and helped build sales of OnZurf Probe.

But now she has moved on to a new challenge. From May 1st Abrahamsson, who lives in Umeå, began the next stage in her career at life science company Lipum, which is developing a biological drug for the treatment of chronic inflammation. Previous preclinical studies have returned very promising results and indicate the potential to provide better treatment of, for example, rheumatoid arthritis.

“I have worked with OnZurf Probe for ten years – and the technology surrounding it for almost twenty years – so it will be really exciting and inspiring for me to move on”, says Pernilla Abrahamsson.

She officially started her new position as Chief Operating Officer at Lipum on May 1st and is now responsible for heading up the operational side of the business.

“Pernilla is just perfect for the job. She has extensive experience in the industry and is also entrepreneurial. We couldn’t have found a better person for the role”, says Einar Pontén, CEO of Lipum.
It was while Pernilla was working as a laboratory engineer during an operation at the University Hospital of Umeå, that she noticed a monitoring device – which had been inserted into the heart muscle – had come loose. The device still provided adequate readings, even though it was now located next to the heart.

This discovery gave rise to OnZurf Probe, which is described as a biomarker sample collector. The probe measures various substances from the surface of an organ during or after an operation. It can be used for up to seven days following an operation and means no invasive needles are required to obtain measurement values from an organ.

“Inserting a needle into an organ means there’s a possibility you can hit a blood vessel. By fixating the probe on the surface of the organ the risk for this type of complication is minimized”, says Pernilla Abrahamsson.

Pernilla developed her idea at Umeå Biotech Incubator, where her new employer Lipum is now based. Lipum has recently received SEK 23 million in support from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program and secured an additional SEK 25 million through a new share issue. The company’s development of a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is so advanced clinical trials are expected to begin within two years.

“Lipum is a fascinating company that is in a very exciting position where the product will be launched on the market soon. That’s something that will be fun to be a part of”, says Pernilla Abrahamsson.

The founders and researchers behind Lipum are Olle Hernell, Susanne Lindquist and Lennart Lundberg.