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Akinion Pharmaceuticals AB appoints Dr Richard Jones as CEO

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – January 19th 2016. Akinion Pharmaceuticals AB, a private biotechnology company developing AKN-028, a dual mechanism inhibitor of the oncogenic FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3 (FLT3) receptor and a downstream DNA repair target for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), today announced the appointment of Dr Richard Jones as Chief Executive Officer. Akinion’s majority shareholder is KDev Investments AB, an investment vehicle jointly owned by Karolinska Development AB and Rosetta Capital.

Dr Jones brings over 20 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry with a strong haematology oncology background. Dr Jones recently served Novartis and GSK as VP, Global Haematology Medicines Commercialization Leader responsible for delivering the global haematology strategy. He has previously held a number of international roles with increasing seniority in small, mid and large biopharmaceuticals organizations, including the GSK Rare Diseases Unit, Genzyme Corporation and Shire plc. Dr Jones holds a PhD in Molecular Oncology from the University of Surrey, UK.

Graham Fagg, Chairman of the Board, Akinion Pharmaceuticals AB commented: “On behalf of the Akinion board, I am delighted to welcome Richard to the Company. He brings a unique combination of expertise to Akinion at an important stage of the Company’s evolution. We look forward to working with Richard on the clinical development of AKN-028 and the strategic direction of the business.”

Richard Jones said: “I am delighted to be leading Akinion into the next phase of the Company’s development. The discovery program has generated AKN-028, a drug candidate with a unique and differentiated profile of activity that has the potential to become a first-in-class dual mechanism of action therapy for a broad population of AML patients. AML is one of the last bastions of blood cancers with limited current treatment options and Akinion has taken an important step toward the potential amelioration of the aggressive disease and poor prognosis that is the hallmark of AML.”

Mutations in the FLT3 receptor occur in one-third of AML patients and result in constitutive activation and the genomic instability associated with a poor prognosis. Akinion’s AKN-028, currently in Phase I/II clinical development, combines inhibition of FLT3 and an activated downstream target involved in DNA repair. This dual mechanism of action is unique among FLT3 inhibitors and has the potential to treat a broad spectrum of the AML patient population.


For further information, please contact:
Dr Richard Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Akinion Pharmaceuticals AB
Phone: +44 (0) 7917 275319, e-mail: 



About Akinion Pharmaceuticals AB

Founded in 2009, Akinion Pharmaceuticals AB is a privately owned Swedish biotech company with a UK subsidiary focused on the discovery and development of signal transduction inhibitors for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Akinion’s discovery program has yielded a lead drug candidate, AKN-028, a signal transduction inhibitor with an innovative first in class dual mechanism of action combining inhibition of FLT3 and of an additional kinase target strongly implicated in disease progression and chemoresistance in AML. AKN-028 is in Phase I/II clinical development and has the potential to be an important new class of drug for the treatment of the disease.

KDev Investments AB, the majority shareholder in Akinion Pharmaceuticals, is a vehicle jointly owned by Karolinska Development and Rosetta Capital IV Sarl (a Luxembourg fund-management vehicle under the framework of Rosetta Capital Ltd).

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About AML

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is the most common acute leukemia in adults and accounts for approximately 80% of all cases. AML is characterised by clonal proliferation of myeloid precursors with a reduced capacity to differentiate into more mature cells, leading to accumulation in the bone marrow and peripheral blood. About 42,000 new cases of AML are diagnosed in the US, Europe and Japan mostly in elderly patients. Overall prognosis is poor for the majority of AML patients with current treatments consisting of non-specific therapies with limited efficacy, poor tolerability and low cure rates. The prognosis for refractory AML patients in relapse who are ineligible for allogeneic stem cell transplantation is very poor with 5-year survival rates of circa. 4% in patients >65 years.

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