Swedish biotech Cereno Scientific has recruited Fredrik Frick as Head of Clinical Operations. The addition to the company’s executive management team further strengthens its R&D organisation, as Cereno eyes a scenario with up to three clinical programmes in its pipeline by 2023.
Cereno Scientific has initiated a phase II clinical trial with lead candidate CS1 in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a rare cardiovascular disease (CVD). The trial uses a novel treatment approach with epigenetic modulation through HDAC (Histone DeACetylase) inhibition. Read more about this approach here.
The phase II trial is still in early stages, and Cereno is scheduled to host a webcast today Friday February 25, 2022, to update investors and financial analysts on the trial. The webcast will be led by CEO Sten R. Sörensen and CMO Dr Björn Dahlöf from Cereno; they will be joined by the principal investigator (PI) of the study, Dr Raymond Benza, as well as Dr Philip Adamson, Vice President and CMO of the Heart Failure Division at Abbott, Cereno’s study collaborator. For more details about the webcast, read here.
Potential for three clinical programmes by 2023
The phase II study initiation is a major milestone for the Swedish biotech, which is on a mission to develop new and better treatments for CVD. To that end, while CS1 has the potential to be clinically validated in PAH, Cereno Scientific has been laying the groundwork for an expanded pipeline by diversifying its candidate portfolio. Through a collaboration with Dr Michael Holinstat at the University of Michigan, the company is evaluating the potential of two new preclinical programmes: CS585 and CS014. Read the latest updates on these programmes here.
Both programmes are aimed for transition of a drug candidate into phase I after a 24-month preclinical evaluation period initiated in Q2 2021. This means that Cereno could potentially have three clinical programmes by 2023.
New Head of Clinical Operations
In light of that, the company has been taking steps to strengthen its Research and Development (R&D) team. The preclinical R&D side was already strengthened substantially when Cereno added Dr Holinstat as Director of Translational Research in May 2021. This week, to further strengthen the clinical side, the company has announced appointing Fredrik Frick as Head of Clinical Operations.
Frick earned his PhD in Medical Physiology/Endocrinology from the University of Gothenburg and has 17 years of experience working at AstraZeneca with early- to late-stage drug development including pre-clinical target identification, clinical drug discovery and clinical study management and operations. He will be responsible for all Cereno’s clinical activities globally, and he will be leading the preparation and execution of international clinical development programmes.
Sten R. Sörensen commented on the new addition to the team and what it means for the company’s development:
»The development of our pipeline is a critical success factor for Cereno in order to deliver on our vision to make available innovative drugs for patients with rare and common cardiovascular diseases. I am therefore delighted that we have complemented and strengthened our management team with additional leadership expertise and capacity in this area. I believe Fredrik will be a great addition to our team with his proven track record of working with all facets of drug development.«
Joining a team of experts
Frick will begin his new role no later than May of this year, and he will join a team that already brings talent and dedication within the CVD treatment field. In addition to a professional management team and highly experienced Board of Directors, Cereno has put together a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) comprised of high-profile CVD experts that have international recognition in the field. The SAB includes Dr Raymond Benza who is Principal Investigator for the PAH phase II study. Read more about the SAB here.
With this newest appointment, Cereno will be better equipped to pursue its goal of having three clinical programmes by 2023.