The Eir Ventures Team

The team is highly experienced with documented successes in

Life science venture capital   ·   Global pharma industry

Medical scientific research   ·   Product development and launches

Hands-on management of venture backed companies

Private and public market transactions as well as M&A

We have complementary backgrounds in relevant fields, and have worked together during many years in different capacities

Eir Ventures Magnus Persson portrait BW

Magnus Persson, MD, PhD, Associate Professor

Magnus is a Physician and Scientist, who early in his career successfully started a medical technology company (Aerocrine) and sold it, joined Sanofi and subsequently has been a Partner at two life science Venture Capital firms, HealthCap in Stockholm and The Column Group in San Francisco. He has had a role in dozens of investments and exits. Lately he has been an independent Chairman/Board member in several private and public companies in the Nordics, as well as in the US, and worked on a weekly basis as a clinician. Magnus has been actively involved in a number of successful pharma spin-outs. He has experience from the academic incubator space as CEO at Karolinska Institutet Holding.

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Amanda Hayward, PhD

Amanda is a Molecular Biologist and has spent nearly 20 years on the business side with a focus on company building, venture investment, executive leadership, finance and business development. Amanda has been a co-founder of and operator within several academic and pharma-sourced spin-outs, and for a number of the spin-outs has taken interim executive management roles. Amanda’s venture experience comes from being a partner-level member of two US based venture funds, with an international investment scope, Baxalta Ventures and Connecticut Innovations. Amanda has board level and operational experience in the US and Europe, including in the Nordics.

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Stephan Christgau, PhD

Stephan has a PhD in Protein Chemistry and immunology from the Technical University of Denmark and UCSF. Stephan has broad executive experience from private as well as public biotech companies with responsibilities for R&D, operations, clinical development and corporate strategy. Stephan was a founding member of the early investment and company creation team Novo Seeds at Novo Holdings and has worked in life science venture capital as an active company creator and early investor for almost 20 years. His investments have mainly focused on the Nordic area, where Stephan has led the creation and funding of more than 30 companies.

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Lene Gerlach, PhD

Lene has a PhD in Neuroscience from University of Copenhagen. She has more than 25 years’ experience within the life science industry as a research scientist, patent attorney, business developer, consultant on university spin-out corporations and has held management positions in several biotech companies. Lene has been Vice President in Action Pharma (sold to Abbott in 2012) and Visiopharm, a global AI Healthcare company. Since 2014, Lene has worked as a venture capitalist having financed more than 35 companies. She comes with an extensive board experience having headed 18 companies as Chairman.

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Tobias Horneman-Thielcke, MD, LLB

Tobias is a physician and holds a BA in Law. Tobias started his career working as a physician in the clinic and later transferred to the pharmaceutical industry, where he spent several years in various regional and global leadership positions for Sanofi Genzyme and Y-mAbs. Tobias is experienced within rare diseases, immunology and oncology, developing and managing strategy, product launches and drug positioning with R&D. Tobias is also the founder of a medtech startup company,, that digitalises HCP and pharma interactions.

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Gökçe Günaydın​, PhD, MBA, Investment Associate

Gökçe Günaydın, Investment Associate is joining from the pharmaceutical industry where she held global positions in Medical Affairs. She worked at the Karolinska Institute for 10 years, where she obtained her PhD. In 2021, she won the prestigious SSE MBA Carl Silfvén Scholarship allowing her to pursue her Executive MBA at Stockholm School of Economics. She is also the recipient of prestigious awards in the field of medical innovation.

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Lovisa Backemar​, MD, PhD, Principal

Lovisa Backemar is Principal in the Eir Ventures Team. Lovisa is a Medical Doctor and holds a PhD in clinical epidemiology from the Karolinska Institute. Prior to joining Eir Ventures, Lovisa served as Head of Business Development at the Swedish healthcare provider Capio, where she played a key role in setting the strategic direction and leading growth projects. Lovisa also gained valuable experience as a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group, working on diverse projects in different industries, mainly MedTech and Pharma. Lovisa will be based in Stockholm.

Advisory Board

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Thomas Perlmann, PhD, Professor at Karolinska Institute and General Secretary of the Nobel Committee.

Thomas completed his undergraduate studies at Stockholm University and received his PhD from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, in 1991. After postdoctoral work at the Salk Institute in San Diego, California, Thomas established his independent research as an assistant professor at the Karolinska Institutet where he currently holds a full professorship at the department of Cell and Molecular Biology. Thomas is interested in the development of the central nervous system and in regenerative medicine. His lab has discovered novel mechanisms influencing the development and survival of mesencephalic dopamine neurons, cells that degenerate in Parkinson’s disease. Thomas received the Eric K. Fernström prize to young investigators in 1997, the Göran Gustafsson prize in Molecular Biology in 1999, Hilda and Alfred Eriksson’s prize in 2016, and he received the Torsten Söderberg Academy Professorship in medicine in 2017. He is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization since 2003, a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences since 2008 and a member of the Nobel Assembly since 2006. He became a co-opted member of the Nobel Committee at Karolinska Institutet 2008, a full member in 2012, and was elected Secretary General in 2016.

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Morten Meldal, PhD, Professor at University of Copenhagen and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2022


Morten Meldal is a Danish chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2022, together with Carolyn Bertozzi and K. Barry Sharpless, for his work on click chemistry and biorthogonal chemistry. Morten Meldal was born on January 16, 1954, and obtained his Master degree in chemistry from the University of Copenhagen in 1980 and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Technical University of Denmark in 1983. After working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge, he joined the faculty of the University of Copenhagen. After 23 years from 1988 at Carlsberg Laboratory as Principal Scientist and Adjunct Professor he returned to University of Copenhagen in 2011 where he is currently Professor of Chemistry.

Meldal’s research has focused on the development of new chemical reactions that are highly selective and efficient, particularly in the context of biomolecular systems. His work on click chemistry has had a significant impact on the fields of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry, while his contributions to the development of biorthogonal chemistry have been recognized as groundbreaking.

Meldal has also made significant contributions to the development of new synthetic methods of the preparation of complex organic molecules and to the development of new materials for use in sustainable technologies. Meldal’s work has been recognize with numerous awards and honors, including the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2022 and the H.C. Ørsted Gold Medal. He has also been a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters since 2005, a foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States since 2014 and member of UK’s Royal Chemical Society since 2023.

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Carani Sanjeevi, PhD, Professor at Karolinska Institute.

Prof CB. Sanjeevi is Vice Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute it Higher Learning (Deemed-to-be-University) in Puttaparthi, AP, India and Senior Scientist at the Dept of Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Dr. Sanjeevi heads the research Group ‘Diabetes-Immunology’ at the Center for Molecular Medicine in Karolinska University Hospital Campus. The group focuses its research on Autoimmune diabetes. His group’s main interest lies in the understanding of the biomarkers, immunogenetic factors and especially the structural and functional aspects of these genes, in the understanding of the etiology of the disease and for finding ways to predict, and possibly prevent the disease.

He has won many awards. The recent one was Pravasi Bharathiya Samman Award for 2017, which he received from the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee. It is the highest award given to a Person of Indian Origin by the Government of India for his excellence in the field of Medicine. Carani has served as a member of the Editorial board of several Journals and as Editor for the ‘Immunology of Diabetes’ series published by the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (USA). 

He has served in the Board of Cadila Pharma Sweden AB, Oncology Ventures, Danmark and in the Scietific Advisory Board of Allarity Therapeutics (Danmark), Diamyd (Sweden) and Seraxis AB, USA. He also served as Senior Advisor to the Innovation Office of Karolinska Institute, Senior Investment Advisor in Life Science in the Invest in Sweden Agency, Invest Sweden and Business Sweden, TATA Capital Healthcare Private Equity Fund in Mumbai and HBM Bioventures in Zug, Switzerland.

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Harald Ekman, B.Sc.

Harald has over thirty years’ experience in corporate finance, capital markets, venture capital and start-ups. He is the co-founder and CFO of Voyomotive, a leading connected vehicle platform that provides advanced telematics data for the development of new products and services for fleets, service & repair, insurance, and smart cities. Between 2007 and 2012, Harald was one of the founding Partners of The Column Group, a San Francisco based venture capital firm investing in early stage biotechnology companies. Prior to The Column Group, he was a Partner of Three Crowns Capital, a Bermuda based investment-banking firm. He started his career at Goldman Sachs and Nomura Securities in London. Harald was born in Sweden and has a B.S. degree in Economics and Business from the Stockholm School of Economics. He lives in Sarasota, Florida.