New director at the Drug Discovery and Development platform


SciLifeLab has recruited Kristian Sandberg as Director of the Drug Discovery and Development platform. His most recent position was at AstraZeneca where he validated new targets for the company project portfolio.

As of March 16 Kristian Sandberg is Director of the SciLifeLab Drug Discovery and Development (DDD) platform in Uppsala. This position has until now been held by Scientific Director Karin Forsberg Nilsson, who steps down from the DDD platform leadership to get more time for her duties as Head of the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology (IGP) at Uppsala University. Kristian Sandberg will work together with Per Arvidsson who is DDD platform Director at SciLifeLab in Stockholm.

– It has been great to build the DDD platform together with Per Arvidsson. Now, it is important to have a full time DDD director in Uppsala and I am very pleased that Kristian Sandberg has accepted to join SciLifeLab to take up this position, said Karin Forsberg Nilsson.

One of Kristian Sandberg’s responsibilities will be to strengthen the platform as a resource for academic drug discovery available to all scientists at Swedish universities. He will also have the overall responsibility for the operations at the Uppsala node, which consists of four national units: Biophysical Screening and Characterization, In vitro and Systems Pharmacology, ADME, and Hit2Lead Medicinal Chemistry.

Kristian Sandberg has held scientific and leadership positions at Astra Arcus AB/ AstraZeneca and has 20 years experience from drug discovery and development projects working both with small molecules and therapeutic antibodies. In his most recent position, he was part of the Translational Science Leadership Team, and worked on the development of the scientific strategy for the Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity (RIA) Innovative Medicine (iMED) unit. He drove its subsequent implementation on the level of target generation ensuring that business needs were effectively translated into a viable project portfolio.

– It is well known that the pharmaceutical drug industry is in a productivity crisis. The success rate in finding new compounds that reach clinical trials and hit the market has decreased. The drug industry is searching for ways to better predict which projects will succeed in clinical studies and project ideas that stems from the academic research plays a vital role here, said Kristian Sandberg.

He sees a gap between academic researchers’ drug target ideas and the information required to give confidence in drug targets within the industry. It is in bridging this gap that he believes he can provide insight and help to increase the attraction of academic research projects.

– From AstraZeneca, I have experience from initiating and driving drug projects as well as evaluating new target ideas. I look forward to put that knowledge to use at SciLifeLab. The DDD platform is a unique mix of academic competence and in context of the whole SciLifeLab community we have the possibility to evaluate target potential for clinic development that is unparalleled in the industry.


Last updated: 2015-04-07

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