Meet the team
Craig Cook MD is a medical doctor with an MBA from the London Business School and brings more than 20 years of experience in the international pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. Dr Cook’s career has included increasingly senior roles in drug development and commercialization at major life science companies such as Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and EMD Serono, as well as entrepreneurial success in several healthcare initiatives. He was CEO of Midatech Pharma PLC a dual Nasdaq and AIM listed biotech company, before deciding to join Herantis Pharma in 2020. He has worked across several therapeutic areas including neurology, immunology, and oncology.
Tone Kvåle is a seasoned financial executive with 25 years of experience and a stong track record in the biotech and life sciences industry. Most recently, she was CFO at Nordic Nanovector, a publicly listed company in Norway, for 7 years, and prior to that, she held CFO roles at NorDiag (publicly listed company), Kavli Holding, Dynal Biotech, as well as senior management positions at Invitrogen/Life Technologies, in US, now part of Thermo Fisher. In these roles, she helped raise over EUR 200m in financing, was involved in several trade sales, M&A and licensing deals, and was responsible for financial reporting under various reporting standards including US GAAP and IFRS. She currently serves as director of the board and chair of the audit committee of Bonesupport AB, Sweden. Tone has a diploma in finance and administration from UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Harstad.
Antti Vuolanto, DSc, joined Herantis Pharma Plc in February 2018. He has vast experience in biological drug development, in-vitro diagnostics, and building start-up companies. Antti has in-depth knowledge of gene therapy-based drug development including scientific, CMC, and clinical trial expertise. Previously he served as COO at Valo Therapeutics, as Executive Vice President at Targovax ASA, and COO and co-founder at Oncos Therapeutics Ltd that merged with Targovax in 2015. He has also held senior management positions at other biotech companies. Dr. Vuolanto graduated as Doctor in Science in Technology at Aalto University, Finland, in 2004 in bioprocess engineering.
Henri Huttunen co-founded Herantis Pharma Plc. in 2008 and served as the company’s founding CEO for the first two years. Dr. Huttunen is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of Herantis. Dr. Huttunen has previously held research positions at the University of Helsinki, Orion Pharma, and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School (USA). Dr. Huttunen has a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Helsinki and 25 years of experience in neuroscience research. While he was an adjunct professor, Dr. Huttunen lead an academic research group focusing on molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases at the Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki.
Magnus Sjögren is Consultant Chief Medical Officer for Herantis Pharma since 2017. Dr. Sjögren will assume the role of Chief Medical Officer effective as of 1st of May 2021. He has extensive experience in drug development and translational research in several therapeutic areas, in particular in Neurology and Psychiatry, but also oncology and inflammation. He is a trained Psychiatrist with over 28 years of hands-on experience in clinical psychiatry. He is also Associate Professor at Gothenburg University since 2002 and a Lecturer at Copenhagen University since 2015, and the author of more than 135 scientific publications. Dr. Sjögren has held several senior executive and scientific positions: Chief Medical Officer at DiaGenic ASA; Vice President at UCB Pharma in Belgium and UK; Global Head of Translational Medicine in Schering-Plough; Senior Clinical Research Director in Organon NV and AstraZeneca.
Jutta Poutanen has served as Chief Pharmaceutical Officer at Laurantis Pharma Ltd. and subsequently Herantis Pharma Plc. since August 2010 until April 2021, whereafter she was promoted to Head of Quality. Prior to the merger that formed Laurantis Pharma, Ms. Poutanen was Development Manager, Product Development of BioCis Pharma Ltd since August 2008. In her earlier career she has among others worked as Senior Research Scientist at Orion Pharma. She has over 20 years of working experience in pharmaceutical industry in formulation, product and process development and she holds a MSc in pharmacy from University of Helsinki.
Jani Koskinen joined Herantis Pharma Plc. in December 2014. He works as a Head of CMC taking care of tasks related to manufacturing and process development. Before joining Herantis Mr. Koskinen worked for Biotie Therapies, University of Helsinki and Fit Biotech having over 15 years of experience in manufacturing and process development of biopharmaceuticals. He holds a MSc in bioprocess engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology (Aalto-university).
Sigrid Booms has served as Director of Clinical Development of Herantis since August 2011 and was promoted to Head of Regulatory Affairs & Compliance in December 2020. Mrs. Booms has more than 25 years of experience in global development of pharmaceuticals for human use, with previous positions in regulatory affairs at Orion Pharma and at a global clinical CRO as Director, Regulatory Affairs. During her career, she was involved in several drug development projects in the CNS therapeutic area and is currently the study director for the CDNF (protein) clinical development in Parkinson’s disease. Over the years she has become a specialist in regulatory aspects for nonclinical and early phase clinical development. Mrs. Booms holds a Licentiate in pharmacy from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Outi Lahdenperä joined Herantis’ Lymfactin team in 2016 after a long and successful clinical and scientific career at the Cancer clinic of the University of Turku. Lahdenperä received her doctorate in clinical pharmacology and clinical chemistry in 2000. Since 2013, she has been an adjunct professor at the University of Turku. She has more than 20 years experience in clinical drug development and continues her research activities in collaboration with several research groups. Lahdenperä has completed Medimerck Health Care Management and Leadership training in 2015.
Dr. Arnab Bhattacharjee started as a senior scientist at Herantis in January 2018. He has more than 15 years of experience in structural biology and worked on diverse structural biology projects using X-ray crystallography, NMR, SAXS and computational methods. He has held research positions at the University of Helsinki and the Indian Institute of Sciences in the past, and also continues to be associated with HiLIFE Institute, University of Helsinki. Dr. Bhattacharjee holds a PhD in medicine from University of Helsinki. His research project at Herantis was initiated with financial support from the Postdocs for Companies program.
Natalia Kulesskaya has served as a senior scientist, in vivo pharmacology, at Herantis Pharma since August 2019. Dr. Kulesskaya earned her PhD in physiology and has more than 15 years of experience in neuroscience and in vivo pre-clinical studies related to the normal and pathological functioning of the central nervous system. Dr. Kulesskaya is a docent of animal physiology at University of Helsinki. She previously held the position of senior scientist in the Neuroscience Center, HiLIFE, University of Helsinki.
Päivi Vuorio joined Herantis Pharma in January 2017. Her present assignment is Project Manager and she serves as the coordinator of TreatER EU project. During her earlier career, she has worked at Biotie Therapies Corp. as a Project Manager in drug development for over 17 years and before that at the University of Turku in research, training and coordination positions. She holds a PhL (biology) degree from the University of Turku.
Rebecka Holmnäs joined Herantis in March 2018 as a Trainee and was promoted to Project Manager in August 2019. She received her M.Sc. diploma in cell biology from Åbo Akademi University in 2019. In her master’s thesis she studied the efficacy of an epigenetic pharmaceutical for the treatment of ovarian clear cell carcinoma in vitro in a collaborative project between the university and Orion Pharma.
Katarina Jääskeläinen served as Project Manager for Laurantis Pharma Ltd. and subsequently Herantis Pharma plc. since 2012. She has more than a decade of experience in different roles in drug development. For several years, she has been involved in the development of Lymfactin®, as her primary task of the overall project management of Lymfactin® clinical studies. Previously, she worked as Drug Development Assistant for Laurantis Pharma and in several research projects at the Turku University Hospital. Katarina holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in biotechnology from Turku University of Applied Sciences.
Satu Leikas joined Herantis in March 2018. Currently she serves as Project Manager in the Lymfactin® project. Previously she has worked at hospital pharmacies in the manufacturing of medicinal products. Satu holds a B.Sc. in pharmacy from University of Helsinki.