• Team

Håkan Hallberg, CEO Takura

Born in 1958 and started as CEO of Takura in 2018. He was educated at the Stockholm School of Economics and has many years of experience with companies involved in pharmaceutical products development, as well as in medical care and patient care, including  Karo Bio, Previa, Aleris and Frösunda Omsorg. In addition, he was a partner and CFO of Segulah, a private equity firm.

“I have a passion for this industry, since the needs to be met are so significant. The public system in insufficient in terms of quickly applying innovations and adapting to customer needs and demands. That’s why I’m at Takura today.”

Maria Rankka, EVP Business Development & Communications Takura

Born in 1975 and with 15 years’ experience from leadership positions she is today working for Takura. She was previously a partner in global advisory firm Brunswick. Between 2010 and 2018, Maria was CEO of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC). She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Uppsala University. In 2013, she completed the Stanford Executive Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She serves on the board of directors of a number of companies and organizations. In addition, she is an angel investor in health tech.

“Takura is clearly on a mission. It is about life and death and what we do can potentially change the trajectory of health care.”

Peter Ekstedt, Business Manager Takura UAE

Born in 1981, educated at Copenhagen Business School. He has 10 years of experience from project management and operations in emerging markets. Having spent the last six years living and working the gulf region engaged in serval tech startups. Experience in the gulf includes green field establishment of Rocket Internet’s online markets places in UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“Takura is by far the most interesting project I’ve been a part of so far. By bridging the knowledge between Sweden and the UAE we will be able to create remarkable progress within the field of regenerative medicine.”

Katarina Le Blanc, Chief Medical Officer StromaBio

Professor of Clinical Stem Cell Research at Karolinska Institutet.

Katarina Le Blanc was born in 1963 and received her M.D. in 1993, and her Ph.D. in 1999 from the Karolinska Institutet. In 2002 she became a certified specialist in hematology.
Dr Le Blanc’s main research interest is mesenchymal stem cells, haematopoietic stem cell transplantation and immunology.

Dr Le Blanc is a member of several international and national committees including notably the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet and The Royal Swedish Academy of Science. Dr Le Blanc is Ordinary Member of the Pontifical Academy of Life, In the Vatican City State, Rome, Italy. She is also the member of several advisory boards and has been responsible for the organization of several national and international scientific meetings, and also served on many program committees

She has mentored many trainees, PhD students and post docs over the years. Katarina has published well over 150 peer-reviewed publications and review articles, been cited more than 20,000 times, and given some 200 presentations at various national and international meetings over the last 15 years. She is the recipient of several awards including the Knut & Alice Wallenberg Foundation award for young female researchers, Swedish Medical Society award for young scientists, and the Tobias Foundation Prize for the excellent studies of the immunological properties of mesenchymal stem cells and their use in mesenchymal stem cell therapy awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Science.

Ida Duprez, Chief Production Officer StromaBio

Born in 1979 and educated cellular biologist. She received her PhD from Karolinska Institute (KI) in 2005, where her dissertation topic was Immune modulation by mesenchymal stem cells. Ida then worked at Uppsala University, researching both how stromal cells interact with blood and whether stromal cells can improve the transplantation of insulin producing cellular islets. In 2008 she joined the private pharmaceutical company TikoMed AB and worked primarily with pre-clinical development of the company’s product portfolio. Between 2017 and 2019, Ida worked for Katarina Le Blanc at KI on clinical development and production of MSC pharmaceutical products.

“Pharmaceutical product development requires completely different skills, driving forces, and financing than those presently available in academia. Cell therapy is the ultimate area for academic and industrial cooperation in order to satisfy the increasing need for individually-adapted pharmaceutical products as quickly as possible.”

Cecilia Götherström, Director Clinical Development StromaBio

Cecilia Götherström was born in 1975, received her PhD in 2004, and is an Associate Professor in Stem Cell Science at Karolinska Institutet. She has 20 years experience from translational research on stem cell transplantation, with a special focus on perinatal regenerative medicine. Dr Götherström has developed fetal mesenchymal stem cells for prenatal and postnatal transplantation purposes and since then the cells has indeed been used clinically to treat children suffering from severe Osteogenesis Imperfecta with promising results. Dr Götherström is leading an international multicentre trial, Boost Brittle Bones Before Birth (BOOSTB4) and a parallel trial in India (BOOST2B), to evaluate the safety and effect of mesenchymal stem cell administration for the treatment of severe Osteogenesis Imperfecta in unborn and young children.

”Joining StromaBio is a way to put what I have learnt over the last two decades in academia into practice and to ultimately give patients access to powerful treatments. A Pippi Longstocking quote comes to mind: I have never tried this before so I will most certainly make it.”

Karl-Henrik Grinnemo, Chairman and co-founder IsletOne

Karl-Henrik Grinnemo born in 1971 is a consultant in cardiothoracic surgery at Uppsala University Hospital with focus on advanced heart failure including mechanical assist devices. Dr Grinnemo is also a professor at Uppsala University with a regenerative lab at Ångström Laboratory developing new stem cell-based therapies for heart and lung regeneration. He has developed several patents related to MSC expansion protocols and his research is aiming at identifying, expanding and differentiating the human heart stem cell Islet1.

His team has ongoing studies with mesenchymal stromal cells and their extracellular vesicles in order to treat acute respiratory distress syndrome and to prevent heart failure after a myocardial infarction, the latter as a Vinnova supported collaboration with AstraZeneca. Dr Grinnemo is also a co-founder of the biotech company IsletOne AB, which focus on developing GMP adapted protocols for expansion of mesenchymal stromal cells without changing their in vivo activity.

Gianluca Moretti, Head of development, production and quality Cellavos

Born in 1987 and educated in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Gianluca worked in University of Perugia and Karolinska Institutet to investigate the effect of human mesenchymal stromal cells on fungal infections, their immunomodulatory effects and their toxicological and safety profile in animal models. In 2017 he joined the newborn Cellavos AB, to develop an MSCs based cell therapy for the equine field.

“A considerable amount of research has been done on cell therapies, now it’s time to bring them to the patients in the safest and more affordable way. That’s what I’m working on.”