Turns life science ideas into business opportunities
PULS is a unique Swedish development company that turns life science ideas into attractive business opportunities. With a world-class scientific and industrial expertise, PULS is able to maximize, clarify and realize the value of the innovator’s ideas by providing capital, knowledge, cost-effective management from the very start all the way through a successful project exit. Depending on the project type, PULS is offering in-licensing opportunities at a phase I or IIb stage. Our track record validates all aspects of PULS’s business model.
Vision and mission
Our vision is to make a significant contribution to the life science industry’s development by pursuing a robust, long-term profitable private development company within life sciences focusing on pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Our mission is to maximize the value of product ideas within life sciences together with innovators, by providing a clear business entrepreneurship, broad scientific expertise and long-term financing.
PULS’s business model is to engage with innovators early on to attain an optimal IP status and high quality development throughout the project. With expertise throughout the entire value chain, from R&D to commercialization, PULS develops pharmaceuticals and medical devices that meet unmet medical needs.
Our track record
Since 2003, when the first project company was started, PULS has launched ten project companies and six are currently active. Only one of these ten projects has been terminated, two have successfully been divested for more than one billion SEK, and one was listed on Nasdaq First North in 2014.
It is PULS’s ambition to add value in these projects during a three to seven year period while making a significant investment in the range of 30 to 60 million SEK. PULS has managed to raise more than MSEK 450 in venture capital to the project companies and MSEK 80 to PULS. With two launched and revenue generating products currently on the market, our track record speaks for itself.
PULS is slightly different from other organizations in that it is supported, guided and partly owned by a group of Partners and Associate Partners. Our virtual organization consists of a highly competent and efficient operational management team and 40 partners with extensive networks in the life science industry. The partner group is invaluable both in its capacity to thoroughly evaluate project proposals as well as provide expert level support throughout the development process, once a project has been initiated.
In this way PULS has access to critical resources and world class competence throughout the value chain and secures the ideal infrastructure and mix of competences for each project for the duration of the development and exit phase. The cost-effective virtual organization and the lean decision-making structure add benefits and value to PULS and its project companies.
Opportunities for both innovators and investors
Another distinguishing feature of PULS is its attention to milestone definition, combined with complete financing and clear exit position and strategy, which are all clearly defined prior to the decision to initiate a project and start up a project company. PULS’ capability of both finance and manage projects together with investors, makes PULS an attractive alternative for any clinical or scientist interested in seeing an innovation realized without giving up a promising career in order to become an entrepreneur. In this way, PULS secures long-term financing through joint ownership – a model that serves both innovators and investors well.
Focus on drug development
Our focus is in drug development. While two projects include the development of new chemical entities, PULS prefers to invest in innovations aimed at adding incremental improvements to well-defined medical needs. The environment in PULS, a network of experts representing a wide range of disciplines, is particularly conducive to cross boundary innovation.
Laccure is one such example. A gynecologist in Gothenburg recognized the need for an effective treatment for bacterial vaginosis detailing to PULS the need for a comfortable and easy-to-use product. The involvement and contributions of organic chemistry experts within the PULS partner network led to the development of a well-documented and CE labeled, novel treatment with an excellent cure rate.
DuoCort is another example of a project company that originated from an insightful understanding of the medical need to improve the treatment of patients with adrenocortial failure. DuoCort developed the prescription drug – Plenadren® – the first innovation in this field in over fifty years. PULS divested DuoCort in 2011 to a global pharmaceutical company that is making the treatment available to patients in several markets.
A snapshot of PULS
• Headquartered in Helsingborg, regional office in Gothenburg
• 10 project companies launched, 6 active project companies
• 3 project companies successfully divested, of which one is listed on Nasdaq First North
• More than 450 million SEK in venture capital raised since the start
• Total deal value of over 1.1 billion SEK for the two divested project companies
PULS offers unique in-licensing opportunities
AcuCort has developed a soluble film containing a well-documented and well-known anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid. The film is easily placed on the tongue and dissolves in 10-15 seconds. There is no need to swallow anything, with or without water, which is a benefit for patients with difficulty swallowing. The easy-to-use film sticks so well to the tongue’s mucosa that it cannot be spitted out, which is a great benefit in the treatment of for example children in an acute situation. AcuCort’s prescription product Dexa ODF is the first glucocorticoid that is specifically developed for people with allergies and adapted for use in emergency and stressful situations by non-medically trained people.
Adenovir Pharma develops a new and innovative drug against the serious and very contagious eye disease epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC). The disease occurs all over the world but is most common in densely populated areas in Asia. The patients and persons in their closest environment must often be isolated during the acute phase and the patients are generally on sick leave. EKC is a disease where there is no effective treatment and it represents a large unmet medical need. Adenovir Pharma’s drug candidate has proved to be well tolerated and safe in preclinical and clinical phase 1 studies and is being tested clinically in a phase 2 study with an expected read-out in 2016.
Glactone Pharma is developing novel drugs that target a key transcription factor signaling pathway for the treatment of advanced and treatment resistant cancers to improve the lives of cancer patients. STAT3 is a pro-oncogenic protein involved in tumor mediated immune suppression and anti-cancer drug resistance making it an ideal target in combination treatments of prostate cancer, for example, with the possibility to expand the project to multiple cancer indications. The project is in preclinical development phase with a candidate drug that displays STAT3 inhibition in vivo and in vitro.
Laccure has developed a breakthrough women’s non-prescription health product that is effective, safe and user-friendly for the treatment and prevention of bacterial vaginosis. BV is the most common vaginal infection in women of childbearing age, affecting more than 300 million women worldwide each year. Laccure’s patented product, Laccure® Pessary, is based on a proprietary substance that releases lactic acid over several days to decrease the elevated vaginal pH. The development work has focused on creating a user-friendly, non-smear product that is easy to insert and highly effective. This has been demonstrated in clinical studies, in which 80% of the women were free of their BV after a single dose. Laccure® Pessary is CE-marked as a Class IIa medical device and is ready for market introduction in the EU/EES countries.
Oncorena is developing a drug for treatment of metastasized renal (spread kidney) cancer based on the natural substance orellanine. Renal cancer that has metastasized has a very poor prognosis. Current treatment often only prolongs the life for the patients with a few months. Orellanine is found in certain mushrooms known to cause kidney damage to persons who accidentally have eaten them. In experiments Oncorena has demonstrated that orellanine kills kidney cancer cells. The product will be to patients with clear-cell renal cancer that has spread and no longer can be cured with surgery. A long-term survival benefit for the patients is the goal.
Trophea is addressing the medical need for an effective treatment for skin atrophy caused by long term use of topical glucocorticoids. It is well known that this patient group, adult patients suffering from atopic severe dermatitis or psoriasis for example, often develops skin atrophy. Trophea is in a start up phase.