TEAM

People behind the Sartar Therapeutics are experts of many disciplines.


Sartar team consists of professionals with background in drug development, biotech management, precision medicine, regulatory affairs and molecular cancer research.

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Katja Ivanitskiy, M.D.

Chief executive officer. Specialist in Public Health, Special Competence in Pharmaceutical Medicine.

Chief executive officer, Katja Ivanitskiy, M.D., Specialist in Public Health (born 1973) has joined the company as a CEO. She has vast experience of pharmaceutical medicine and pharmacovigilance, having worked in pharmaceutical industry with clinical oncology and vaccine trials and as a regulatory authority at the Finnish Medicines Agency assessing safety of medicines. Prior to joining Sartar, Katja has been involved in Biodesign Finland entrepreneurial program and startup product development as well as in building a new healthcare information system in Finland.

Harri Sihto, Ph.D.

Chairman of the Board. Adjunct Professor of Cancer Biology, an expert of rare cancer research.

The Chairman of the Board, Dr. Harri Sihto (born 1976) is a founding member of the Company. He is a biochemist, who received his Ph.D. degree in 2012 and was awarded with title of Adjunct Professor of Cancer Biology in 2015 at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Dr. Sihto’s research group investigates novel therapy targets in sarcomas and other rare cancers to discover new therapeutics therapeutic options for the patients. Dr. Sihto is an author in dozens of scientific publications, which are cited thousands of times. Dr. Sihto is responsible for the management of the company at present.

Olli-Pekka Pulkka, Ph.D.

Specialist of GIST tumor biology.

Olli-Pekka Pulkka, Ph.D. (born in 1985) is a founder and board member of the Company. He is a cell and molecular biologist with a PhD from the University of Helsinki, Finland in 2019. His research is focused on the prognostic factors and novel therapeutic targets in GIST. Dr. Pulkka prepared his PhD thesis on the role of PDE3 as a therapy target in GIST.

Olli Kallioniemi, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Molecular Precision Medicine.

Professor Olli Kallioniemi (born 1960) is a founder and board member of Sartar Therapeutics. Prof. Kallioniemi received his M.D. degree in 1984 and Ph.D. degree in 1988 at the University of Tampere. Professor Kallioniemi is an expert in a precision medicine. As a founding director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM, 2007-2015), he had a crucial role in building a national research infrastructure required for precision medicine research. Now Prof. Kallioniemi is appointed as Director of SciLifeLab, a national center of molecular biosciences organized by Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University and Uppsala University in Sweden. Prof. Kallioniemi has 389 publications that are cited 40,000 times, as well as 20 patents. Prof. Kallioniemi brings to the company invaluable insights on precision medicine strategies and development.

Pekka Simula, M.Sc.

Life science and biotech industry expert.

Pekka Simula (born 1974) is a board member of Sartar Therapeutics. Mr. Simula has hold previously many life science and bioindustry expert positions: such as Project Director at CRF Health, Global Program Manager at Varian Medical Systems,  CEO of Herantis Pharma and a founding CEO of Oncos Therapeutics, until the company’s merger with Norwegian Targovax in 2015. Mr. Simula is also a Chairman of the Board of the Finnish Bioindustries and Chairman of the Health & Wellbeing Advisory Board of Business Finland.