Ons 22 maj / År 42 / Nr 1 2024

Cellectricon Accelerates Drug Discovery

Cellectricon is a leading provider of advanced cell-based screening services to accelerate drug discovery. Their offering is ideal for compound profiling in excitable primary cells and native tissue.

David Burns was recruited by the Board as CEO of Cellectricon AB 3.5 years ago. At that time the company was selling systems for high throughput RNAi screening and high throughput ion channel drug discovery, used in pre-clinical pharmaceutical development.
The Board had realised that the market for their hi-end products, primarily aimed for big pharmas, weren’t very sizeable and very competitive. Subsequently, he worked with the team to transform the company, from product based to discovery services based on technology, science and know-how.
”The investors were all in, as were the Board and employees, and, as a team, we started implementing our new strategy. By recruiting top-people in Swedish pharma with research experience in the fields of CNS and pain, we’re today a specialist boutique discovery services company that enables rapid development and validation of exciting CNS and peripheral pain assays using native primary cells and human stem cells,” says David, who has held international executive management positions at Renishaw Diagnostics, Cyntellect, GE Healthcare and Pharmacia / LKB, among others. His track-record includes developing several companies through to commercial success.
Cellectricon’s services help researchers identify phenotypic effects in highly relevant biological models early enough in a project’s lifecycle to add real value to the decision of whether to pursue or eliminate a compound, which translates to considerable cost savings and time in drug development.
”With our technology, and working in a highly collaborative approach with our customers, we’re accelerating the path from assay validation to compound screening,” he adds.
So far, the shift has been successful, with signed contracts with Pfizer, concerning chronic pain research, and three other major pharmas in CNS and pain.
”The challenge is to take the early stage projects into full-blown commercial projects, going from a project budget of USD 0.5-1 million to USD 5-10 million and lasting 3-5 years. We’re at this intersection right now,” David states.

New Scientific Advisory Board
To enhance its discovery services, Cellectricon is establishing a Scientific Advisory Board of highly experienced scientists with extensive drug discovery backgrounds in the fields of chronic pain and CNS research. The first member of this Board is Edwin C Johnson, Director of The Stockholm Brain Institute.
”It’s not a classic board, actually. The advisers will be consulted for focused knowledge efforts one at a time. We have an incredible knowledge-base, but there are always gaps. The advisers can provide additional information, which is valuable for developing our proprietary discovery services, adding value for our customers.”
Cellectricon is situated in Mölndal and the main shareholders are Ägir Invest, Dunross & Co, together with employees and seed investors.