The Gothenburg-based pharmaceutical company Stayble Therapeutics recently announced Jarkko Kalliomäki as Chief Medical Officer of the company. He is an experienced pain physician and will contribute valuable expertise to the clinical development of the STA363 injection treatment, as well as in future partnership discussions. BioStock interviewed Jarkko Kalliomäki about his new role.
Stayble Therapeutics is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing the STA363 injection treatment for degenerative disc disease and chronic disc herniation. The company’s vision is to offer patients a simple and effective treatment that addresses the underlying cause of the patient’s chronic pain.
Stayble is currently conducting a clinical phase IIb study with STA363 in degenerative disc disease and is also planning for a phase Ib study in patients with chronic herniated discs. To finance these projects, the company recently carried out a rights issue that was subscribed for a total of approximately 90 percent, which provided approximately 31.7 MSEK before transaction costs.
Addition to the management team
In connection with the share issue, Stayble announced that they plan to expand the management team with a Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Recently, the company announced that they have recruited Jarkko Kalliomäki to the role. The company CSO Anders Lehmann commented on the addition in a press release:
»With Jarkko as CMO, Stayble gains an experienced pain physician who can support the execution of our clinical studies for both degenerative disc disease and chronic lumbar disc herniation as well as be an important resource in future partnership discussions. His broad experience as a consultant and specialist in the pain-related field will be very valuable to us« – Anders Lehmann, CSO, Stayble Therapeutics
Newly appointed CMO comments
Jarkko Kalliomäki is a specialist physician in rehabilitation and pain management and a medical doctor in physiology. He has over ten years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry in several pain-related projects. He also worked as a senior physician at Lunds Universitetssjukhus, Sophiahemmet and Capio S:t Göran’s hospital.
BioStock contacted Jarkko Kalliomäko to learn more about his background and new role as CMO in Stayble Therapeutics.
First of all, what attracted you to Stayble Therapeutics?
– There is a huge need for treatment options for chronic back pain. Only a small proportion of patients can be treated with surgery. In most cases, physiotherapy or rehabilitation is attempted with the aim of managing the pain rather than curing it. Stayble develops a local treatment for pain caused by disc degeneration that is missing from the treatment arsenal today.
– I also perceive that they are well underway as they have received good results regarding safety in phase I and now have an ongoing phase II study where results are expected in the autumn regarding the effect on pain and disability as a result of disc degeneration. In addition, they have a very focused and experienced team that has established a strong network of expertise to be able to drive drug development in an efficient way.
»Stayble develops a local treatment for pain caused by disc degeneration that is missing from the treatment arsenal today. I also perceive that they are well underway as they have received good results regarding safety in phase I and now have an ongoing phase II study where results are expected in the autumn«
Which of your previous experiences can benefit you in the role as CMO in Stayble Therapeutics?
– I have research experience in pain physiology and have been a specialist in pain management for 25 years and have worked with many different types of clinical pain conditions, not least chronic back pain. I also have extensive industry experience from drug development in the field of pain and have conducted several clinical studies in long-term pain conditions.
You seem to have worked a lot in the field of pain. What is the need for new treatments for back pain?
– Chronic back pain is one of the dominant causes of suffering, reduced quality of life and work ability. The need for causal treatment is enormous. Surgery for movement pain due to disc degeneration is a major procedure that is only suitable for a small proportion of the patients. In most cases, you are referred to exercise and rehabilitation, which can be a very important treatment but rarely leads to substantial pain relief.
»Chronic back pain is one of the dominant causes of suffering, reduced quality of life and work ability. The need for causal treatment is enormous«
Finally, what are your initial focus areas as CMO in Stayble?
– I will initially learn about the ongoing phase IIb study in disc degeneration and the upcoming phase Ib study for the treatment of herniated discs, which is planned to start shortly. I will also focus on planning for phase III, i.e., selection of study population, outcome variables, study design, countries and centers in consultation with our internal and external expertise.The content of BioStock’s news and analyses is independent but the work of BioStock is to a certain degree financed by life science companies. The above article concerns a company from which BioStock has received financing.