Pelle Almquist, Lars Alfredsson, Sofia Svanteson and Sebastian Evans

Swedish life science startup Elsa raises $700,000 in seed money

Elsa helps patients with chronic disease live a better life

Stockholm October 16 2018 — Elsa, a life science startup that improves the lives of patients with chronic disease by giving access to world leading scientific research, raises $700,000 in seed money.

Inventure, a Nordic technology fund, is the lead investor. Crowberry Capital from Iceland, and angel investors Erik Byrenius, Louise Samet and Hampus Jakobsson have also participated in the round. The pre-seed investor is the design and innovation agency, Ocean. Ekaterina Gianelli from Inventure and Hekla Arnardottir from Crowberry join the board.

Research from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm shows that certain lifestyle choices can improve patients’ symptoms and make drugs work more effectively. Few people are aware of the impact their lifestyle actually has on their disease. Elsa’s purpose is to educate as many patients as possible on the effects of changing some of their day-to-day habits. The initial focus will be on rheumatoid arthritis.

When patients use the Elsa app — and select their prescribed drug — they can maximise the effect of their treatment by keeping a record of their lifestyle and symptoms. Elsa analyses their habits based on scientific research — and this can motivate changes in behaviour. Elsa collaborates with several pharmaceutical companies to develop drug specific modules for the app and one of their first partners is AbbVie.

“In the Nordics, we have been collecting health data for many years. Now it’s time to use the data to enhance precision medicine. We believe that Elsa’s approach of comparing individual patient’s behaviour to the aggregated disease knowledge can provide the best care to people living with chronic conditions,” says Ekaterina Gianelli, Investment Director at Inventure.

Today’s drugs are significantly more effective than they were 15 years ago. Nevertheless, they usually demand behavioural changes for optimal results, according to Professor Lars Alfredsson, co-founder of Elsa.

This year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry went to Gregory Winters for his discovery of adalimumab, used in drugs for rheumatic diseases. This is, among others, the type of drugs that Elsa will boost.

“To attract such eminent and dedicated investors, just as the Nobel Prize is awarded for a discovery that we want to further improve, is amazing. These are exciting times, both now and ahead. We are at the beginning of a long journey and will work hard to reach and support patients globally,” says Sofia Svanteson, CEO of Elsa.

About Elsa
Elsa is a platform for patient driven research for better health, prevention and drugs for the chronically ill. The company was founded by Sofia Svanteson, Sebastian Evans, Pelle Almquist, Lovisa Afzelius and the Riskminder Foundation.

For more information please contact
Sofia Svanteson, CEO