Oncology-focused Ascelia Pharma strengthens its board of directors to support international expansion

Malmö-based Ascelia Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel medicines to improve the life expectancy and quality of life for people living with cancer, is strengthening its current board of directors with the addition of Helena Wennerström and Hans Maier as the company prepares to continue its growth journey.

”With our two strong drug candidates – Mangoral® and Oncoral – we are ready to take Ascelia Pharma to the next level. We are very pleased that Helena Wennerström and Hans Maier will be joining the board and sharing their valuable expertise and experience, not least in the areas of life science, corporate development and internationalisation,” says Peter Benson, chairman of Ascelia Pharma’s board of directors.

Over his 25-year career Hans Maier has held senior positions at Schering AG and Bayer AG, including Head of the Global Business Unit Diagnostic Imaging in both companies. He has spent almost a decade in Asia serving as Managing Director for Schering AG in Korea and in Japan. He is a co-founder and managing partner of the Berlin based life science consulting and transaction advisory firm BGM Associates GmbH. Hans holds a PhD in Economics and Social Sciences and is a Professor of International Strategic Management at Berlin School of Economics and Law.

” I am excited to join the board of Ascelia Pharma, which, I believe, has the potential to develop into a successful specialty pharma and oncology company. I look forward to contributing with my experience in the pharmaceutical and diagnostic imaging industries to first of all successfully develop and market Mangoral®, Ascelia Pharma’s lead compound. Mangoral® is likely to become the contrast agent of choice for liver imaging in patients with severely impaired kidney function and thus provides a welcome medical alternative to gadolinium-based imaging agents,” says Hans Maier.

Helena Wennerström is CFO and Deputy CEO of Bulten. Her previous experience includes similar positions at Finnveden and FinnvedenBulten, Dicentia and Topcon. Helena holds a Master in Business Administration and will serve as chair of Ascelia Pharma’s audit committee. She has international experience from Bulten, which has operations in several countries.

”Ascelia Pharma is a pioneer in the development of innovative pharmaceutical products that fill an unmet medical need in cancer treatment. As a director, I am looking forward to using my financial expertise to support Ascelia Pharma in its exciting journey,” says Helena Wennerström.

Helena Wennerström and Hans Maier join current Ascelia Pharma board members Peter Benson (chair), Niels Mengel, René Spogárd and Bo Jesper Hansen.

About Mangoral®
Mangoral® is an oral imaging drug candidate (contrast agent) ready for its final clinical development phase (phase 3). Used for diagnostic purposes as an MRI contrast agent, Mangoral® improves the detection and localisation of liver metastases. Mangoral® fills an unmet medical need for patients with impaired kidney function who should not use the currently marketed contrast agents, which are based on the heavy metal gadolinium, due to the risk of serious side effects.

About Oncoral
Oncoral, currently in phase 1 clinical development, is an oral formulation based on irinotecan, which is a widely used chemotherapeutic agent. Oncoral is being developed for treatment of advanced gastric cancer and has the potential to be advantageously combined with other chemotherapies.  

For additional information, please contact:
Peter Benson, Chairman of the board

+45 40 80 48 69

Magnus Corfitzen, CEO
+46 735 179 110

About Ascelia Pharma
Ascelia Pharma is a specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel medicines to improve the life expectancy and quality of life for people living with cancer. The company is located in Malmö, Sweden in the middle of Medicon Valley, a leading European life science cluster. Ascelia Pharma’s largest shareholders are Sunstone Capital and Öresund Healthcare. For more information, please visit