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EIT Health-entrepreneur on Medicine’s Maker ‘Power List’

21st April 2021

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Ilya Pharma, Evelina Vågesjö, has been named this month amongst 19 others within the Medicine’s Maker Power List 2021 for Advanced Medicine.

The Annual Medicine’s Maker Power List is an international celebration of great and inspirational minds that contribute to the development of new medicinal products. Evelina has been recognised for her work in immunotherapy beyond cancer.

The development of immunotherapies for oncology has been fantastic. I think the time is now for immunotherapies in other medical indications, steering the different immune cell subtypes to perform whatever tasks are needed – be it reducing fibrosis, increasing regeneration, fighting bacteria more efficiently, regulating blood pressure, or preserving organ function. With ILP-technology, we can use chemokines as therapeutics in a way that works well, is cost efficient, and has scalable manufacturing and a sustainable supply chain, by expressing them from lactic acid bacteria,” said Evelina Vågesjö, Co-Founder and CEO of Ilya Pharma.

As experienced by many smaller companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ilya Pharma were experiencing difficulties in planning financing and running the business during the crisis. The impact on businesses has been vast, and for healthcare companies it has led to the stoppage of a number of crucial activities including fundraising, clinical trials, and networking.  Recognising the threat to European healthcare start-ups, EIT Health introduced the Start-up Rescue Instrument, of which Ilya Pharma was a recipient back in July 2020 and the company managed to complete its extensive first in human clinical trial in the last quarter of the year.

We supported 11 start-ups with 5.5 million euros in response to the significant negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic was having on our home-grown promising start-ups. Since then, we have seen a number of them flourish, and we are thrilled to congratulate Evelina on this prestigious accolade as well as the entire team on their continued work in the area of immunotherapy,” said Kurt Höller, Director of Business Creation at EIT Health.

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