About Arctic Pharma

Arctic Pharma AS is a privately held company founded in 2012. We are committed to developing innovative anti-cancer drugs by exploiting the “sweet tooth” of cancer cells and their peculiar metabolic features. We directly target key enzymes that are upregulated in cancer cell metabolism with inhibitors designed at Arctic Pharma. This will enable us to develop new pharmaceuticals to combat cancer that exhibit fewer side effects. Our mission is to make Arctic Pharma a leader in designing cancer therapies that are environmentally friendly and have few side effects.


In contrast to normal cells, many cancer cells exhibit high rates of glucose uptake and are hallmarked by high glycolysis rates. The produced pyruvate is not channeled into oxidative phosphorylation but is fermented to lactate, even in presence of sufficient amounts of oxygen. This phenomenon is known as the Warburg effect or aerobic glycolysis


We have performed a modern drug discovery project searching for potent and novel inhibitors of the Warburg effect. This has resulted in approximately 100 promising hit compounds. Pilot studies have demonstrated that several of our compounds are potent inhibitors of cancer cell growth.


Arctic Pharma takes advantage of our broad experience in early drug discovery and utilizes modern technology combined with highly skilled personnel. This includes enzyme assay development, X-ray crystallography, computer-assisted drug design and advanced medicinal chemistry, as well as cell-based assays and biophysical evaluation of the drug candidates.

Members of the board


Executive chairman of the board

Eirik Næss-Ulseth, M.Sc

Eirik Næss Ulseth holds a Master of Science (M.Sc.) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). In the last 20 years he been working on establishing and developing high technology companies within electronics, IT and biotechnology sectors.


Board member

Professor Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale M.D, Ph.D.

Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale, professor Emerita at the University of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital and Radium hospital. Børresen-Dale is among the leading geneticists in research on molecular biology of breast cancer, and her group was among the pioneers in expression profiling of breast carcinomas in collaboration with groups at Stanford. Her achievements are seminal for understanding breast cancer evolution, and have had an enormous impact on our view of the complexity of breast cancer. She has authored more than 500 published scientific papers, book chapters, and invited reviews.


Board member

Professor Bjørn Steen Skålhegg, Ph.D.

Bjørn Steen Skålhegg holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Institute for Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Oslo. He did his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA and has been a full professor at the University of Oslo Medical School since 2001.


Board member

Gunnar Hvammen

Mr. Hvammen has a degree from the Norwegian Business School (BI). Mr. Hvammen has been an independent founder, investor, CEO and board member in numerous companies, including S.D. Standard Drilling Plc, Songa Offshore ASA and Spectrum ASA.


Board member

Sigurd Ørstavik, M.D, Ph.D.

Sigurd Ørstavik holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oslo and has extensive experience from positions in both public and private health companies. Such positions include post docs at the University of Oslo/Norwegian Cancer Society and Medical Advisor at Novartis AS, as well as attending physician at Oslo University Hospital, Department of Oncology. Ørstavik is an author of numerous publications, and is currently the Head of Evidence Generation in the Nordics and Baltics at Takeda AS.


Board member

Ken R. Rosendal, M.Sc.

Ken Rosendal holds a Master of Science (M.Sc) in biochemistry from the University of Bergen. Including a 4 year stay at the EMBL Heidelberg, he has broad experience in drug discovery, biochemistry, cell biology and structure biology. He was the CEO of Spermatech AS until 2015, and he is a co-founder of Arctic Pharma AS. Ken is currently employed as a Business Development Specialist in Life Science at Inven2.