CytoKi Pharma

About the company

Cytoki Pharma is a pre-clinical biotechnology company with focus on serious diseases caused by epithelial injury having an unmet medical need. Cytoki’s lead program is an engineered long-acting IL-22 protein licensed from a major pharmaceutical company.

A correctly functioning immune system is essential for keeping us healthy in the multitude of challenges our organism encounters. Numerous medicines are based on principles that activate or deactivate key proteins in the immune system in a disease context. IL-22 is a key cytokine (a class of proteins released from immune cells) in securing the survival and repair after an injury. It is the immune system’s “Survive and Recover” signal to the tissue. Our lead program is harnessing the power of IL-22, in treatment of organ injuries, through a modified IL-22 protein engineered to have optimal pharmaceutical properties.

Cytoki was founded in 2019 and received the first seed financing from Lundbeckfonden Emerge in July 2019. In 2021 Cytoki raised a series A from a syndicate of strong international investors, Lundbeckfonden Emerge, Seventure Partners, +ND Capital and Ysios Capital. The company has strong focus on progressing the lead program to clinical testing with start of Phase 1 in late 2022. At the same time, CytoKi is maturing a small, diversified portfolio of projects for diseases involving epithelial injury based on IL-22 biology and a highly proven technology for protein engineering. The company is run in a capital efficient way with a small, experienced team coordinating activities performed at selected service providers.


CEO and Founder

Rasmus Jorgensen, PhD

Rasmus has 20 years of experience from Biotech and Pharma, including Vice President positions at Novo Nordisk. Rasmus has led complex and international organizations both in Denmark and in China, where he lived and worked for three years as area head for a Novo Nordisk metabolic disease focused research site located in Beijing. Rasmus has built and led research organizations of up to >100 people, has had project portfolio responsibility, and been deeply involved in establishing licensing deals and large academic partnerships. Rasmus founded Cytoki Pharma in 2019 and is CEO of the company.

Rasmus has a PhD in Biochemistry from University of Copenhagen and has completed an Advanced Management Program at MIT Sloan.


Jens Chr. Norrild, PhD

Jens Norrild has more than 20 years of experience from both University, Biotech, and Pharma. Jens has a PhD in chemistry from the Technical University of Denmark and has authored several scientific papers and patents. As former CMC Project Director at Novo Nordisk Jens has a strong track record of successfully leading internal and external projects across therapeutic areas from research phase into clinical development. Additionally, Jens has years of experience setting strategical direction for drug developments projects from idea to the final offerings to the patients.
VP of Research

Martijn van de Bunt, MD, DPhil

Martijn is a medical doctor with over 10 years of  experience in academic and pharmaceutical drug discovery and development. Martijn most recently was Project Director at Novo Nordisk, where he led several project teams spearheading integration of data-driven decision making into the clinical portfolio. Before that Martijn was Director of Bioinformatics & Data Mining in Research, where he built a multi-located team delivering data-driven solutions to drug discovery challenges. His basic research at the University of Oxford focused on the use of human genomics for drug target and biomarker discovery in metabolic disease. Martijn received his MD from the University of Amsterdam and DPhil from the University of Oxford. 

Chief Development Officer

Anne Louise Kjølbye, PhD, MBA

Anne Louise has more than 20 years of experience from Biotech and Pharma. She has been responsible for global clinical strategy and execution in several leadership positions including as VP of Clinical Operations at Ferring Pharmaceuticals and, most recently, as Senior Medical Advisor and interim COO at AM-Pharma.

Anne Louise has broad experience across many therapeutic areas and has led global development programs from pre-clinical development to phase 3. She has a strong track record delivering value in complex therapeutic areas using innovative approaches such as adaptive trial designs and has pioneered the acceptance of a novel pivotal trial endpoint by the FDA and EMA.

Before moving into Development, Anne Louise spent almost 10 years in Research holding positions as Head of Cardiovascular & Safety Pharmacology, Head of Pharmacology and Head of Innovation at Zealand Pharma.

Head of Non-Clinical Development

Karsten Skydsgaard, DVM, E*MBA

Karsten has extensive experience in non-clinical development and strategy. He has a background as CVP and area head with responsibility for all non-clinical development at Novo Nordisk and later a corresponding VP position at Ferring.