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  • 2024 Recognized professor joins LEO Pharma to accelerate external innovation

Recognized professor joins LEO Pharma to accelerate external innovation

LEO Pharma has appointed Dr. Lars Erik Vølund Kristensen as Vice President, Head of External Innovation, effective June 1, as the organization expands its focus on external innovation.

LEO Pharma, a global leader in medical dermatology, has brought Dr. Lars Erik Vølund Kristensen on board to drive the search for external innovation, foster collaboration and identify new opportunities for growth. He is the third professor from the University of Copenhagen to join LEO Pharma since early 2023, reinforcing the company’s commitment to delivering an innovative and clinically relevant dermatology portfolio for patients with unmet medical needs.


Lars Erik Kristensen

Dr. Lars Erik Vølund Kristensen As Vice President, Head of External Innovation,


Lars Erik will work closely with the teams in Research and Early Development, Development, Business Development, Legal and Commercial to ensure the sustained growth of the organization.


As part of LEO Pharma’s innovation strategy, we have a clear focus on leveraging external innovation to discover, develop and get market approval of treatments for skin diseases with high unmet needs. I am confident that Lars Erik’s extensive experience in business development, scientific partnerships and innovation will help steer innovation scouting efforts in future growth areas,” says Dr. Jacob Pontoppidan Thyssen, Chief Scientific Officer, and EVP, Research & Early Development at LEO Pharma.


In a little over a year, Lars Erik is the third high-profile and internationally recognized doctor and professor from the University of Copenhagen to join the team at LEO Pharma, following Professor Dr. Jacob Pontoppidan Thyssen, Chief Scientific Officer, and Professor Dr. Alexander Egeberg, VP, Global Head of Medical Affairs – emphasizing the company’s razor-sharp focus on articulating and addressing unmet needs among people living with skin diseases.


I am thrilled to join LEO Pharma – a company with a rich legacy – especially in a crucial and exciting phase of its growth. I have spent decades at the intersection of innovation and medical science, and I look forward to leveraging my experience in this new role to help make a fundamental difference for many more patients around the world,” says Lars Erik, VP, Head of External Innovation.


Prior to joining LEO Pharma, Lars Erik was a Professor at the University of Copenhagen and holds MD, PhD and DMsci degrees. Additionally, he has served as an Associate Professor at Lund University in Sweden and is a specialist in internal medicine – rheumatology, as well as held the position of Head of Research at Parker Institute, Frederiksberg, & Bispebjerg Hospital in the Capital Region of Denmark.


Alongside his medical expertise, Lars Erik has a strong entrepreneurial spirit. During medical school, he co-founded an educational-technology company, Sophus Medical, which was later acquired by Laerdal Medical. He has also played key roles in various biotech companies, including Forward Pharma and Hemab, contributing to their success through strategic partnerships and early trials.

About LEO Pharma

LEO Pharma is a global company dedicated to advancing the standard of care for the benefit of people with skin conditions, their families and society. Founded in 1908 and majority owned by the LEO Foundation, LEO Pharma has devoted decades of research and development to advance the science of dermatology, and today, the company offers a wide range of therapies for all disease severities. LEO Pharma is headquartered in Denmark with a global team of 4,200 people, serving millions of patients across the world. In 2023, the company generated net sales of DKK 11.4 billion


Jes Broe Frederiksen

Global Communication Manager
Tel: +45 5360 5948