Chief Executive Officer
Torbjørn Bjerke, MD, served as Chairman of SynAct Board of Directors 2016-2023. In May 2023 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer for SynAct and consequently stepped down from the Board. He previously served as a portfolio manager at Arctic Aurora LifeScience and was the president and CEO of Karolinska Development AB from 2011 to 2014. Prior to that, Dr Bjerke was the president and CEO of Orexo AB, a position he held from 2007 until January 2011. Previously, he was president and CEO of Biolipox AB, Executive Vice President, R&D, ALK Pharmaceuticals, and director of pharmacology at AstraZeneca. Dr Bjerke holds a medical doctor degree from Aarhus Universitet.
Dr Bjerke was a cofounder of Action Pharma AS, TXP Pharma GmbH and cofounder and Chairman of Carelight Ltd. Action Pharma sold its lead drug development candidate to AbbVie for $110M USD and TXP Pharma sold various rights to Questcor Pharmaceuticals for $100M USD in milestone payments. Dr Bjerke has an in-depth experience in building biotech companies, drug development and business development.
Holdings: Bjerke holds 100% of the shares in GL Capital AB, which holds shares in SynAct Pharma AB and 23.00% of the shares in GoodWind Holding GmbH. GoodWind Holding GmbH holds shares in SynAct Pharma AB. See this page for updated holdings.
Chief Financial Officer
Björn Westberg has more than 25 years of experience in the life science sector and has served as a chief financial officer since 2001.
Prior to joining SynAct Pharma in June 2023, he was CFO at privately held Attgeno. Before that he was CFO at global cloud software company Enea, Swedish medtech Bonesupport, both of which are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm, and pharmaceutical developer and manufacturer Recipharm. He started his career at AstraZeneca where he worked in various capacities from 1989-2001.
Holdings: See this page for updated holdings
Thomas Boesen, PhD.
Chief Operating Officer
Thomas Boesen, PhD, has more than 20 years of experience in the biotech and pharma industry. He holds a PhD in bioorganic chemistry from Copenhagen University, with studies at Cambridge University, and a MA in technology management with studies at Roskilde and Edinburgh Universities.
Dr Boesen’s achievements include being an inventor on 35 granted patents and holding several managing positions. Dr. Boesen has been a part of the successes of Action Pharma and Epitherapeutics, and he was cofounder of MedChem and TXP Pharma. He brings insight in drug development throughout the clinical phases, with a focus on CMC and external collaboration. Prior to joining SynAct Pharma, Dr Boesen was with Novo Nordisk for 5 years.
Holdings: Dr. Boesen holds 18.67% of the shares in GoodWind Holding GmbH. GoodWind Holding GmbH holds shares in SynAct Pharma AB. See this page for updated holdings
Thomas Jonassen, MD.
Chief Scientific Officer and Board Member
Thomas Jonassen, MD, is associate professor at cardiovascular pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, and visiting professor at William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and London School of Medicine. He has published more than 50 scientific publications and is the inventor of 6 granted patents in the US and Europe.
Dr. Jonassen is cofounder and current CSO and BoD member at SynAct Pharma AB, cofounder of ResoTher Pharma Aps, cofounder and former CSO at Action Pharma A/S, and cofounder of TXP Pharma AG. Action Pharma sold its lead drug development candidate to AbbVie for $110M USD and TXP Pharma sold various rights to Questcor Pharmaceuticals for $100M USD in milestone payments. Dr. Jonassen is coinventor of SynAct’s drug candidate, AP1189.
Holdings: Dr. Jonassen holds 100% of the shares in TJ Biotech Holding ApS. TJ Biotech Holding ApS holds 26.67% of the shares in GoodWind Holding GmbH. TJ Biotech Holding ApS, and GoodWind Holding GmbH hold shares in SynAct Pharma AB. See this page for updated holdings
James Knight, MBA.
Chief Business Officer
James Knight has 25 years of experience in biotech. Previously he was the VP of Portfolio Strategy at Questcor Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for leading the expansion of Acthar Gel from two to nine promoted indications across five specialty areas including rheumatology. Questcor’s success in expanding Acthar use lead to its acquisition by Mallinckrodt for $5.6 billion.
After his time at Questcor Mr. Knight previously also served as the CBO of TXP Pharma and the SVP, Head of Corporate Development for BioTime. Prior to Questcor, Jim Knight held positions of increasing responsibility at Elan Pharmaceuticals, Dura Pharmaceuticals and Biogen. Jim has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Master of Business Administration in High Technology from Northeastern University in Boston.
Holdings: See this page for updated holdings