I am the Global Development Leader for one of AstraZeneca’s medicines in the renal and heart failure disease areas, so I have global responsibility for the late-stage development of the brand. That includes life-cycle studies and all the brand expansion work we do to support it.
 

Patients are at the heart of what we do. When you’re in the pharmaceutical industry, you have the ability to help millions of patients with the right drug. So I believe, in our roles, that we are working for the many.

Anna Sundgren, PhD, MBA Global Development Leader


The people I work with, motivate me every day; it’s all about trust and respect. Ultimately, the patients are at the heart of what we do. When you’re a physician, you can help one patient at a time. In comparison, when you are in the pharmaceutical industry, you have the ability to help millions of patients with the right drug. So I believe, in our roles, that we are working for the many.

I have been involved in research and pharmaceutical development for more than 20 years, since being awarded a PhD in neurochemistry and neurotoxicology from Stockholm University, Sweden, in 1998. After spending time as a research fellow and as a preclinical scientist at Northwestern University medical school in Chicago, Illinois, I got the chance to join AstraZeneca in 2001, when the company opened a new laboratory in Sweden. I was drawn to the company because of its science-oriented focus and the opportunities this presented.

My early roles as a Senior Research Scientist, Discovery Project Leader and Global Project Manager included defining the right targets to pursue in order to discover the drugs we would progress into medicines, and leading project teams – strategically and operationally – within the neuropathic and nociceptive pain and the neuroscience therapy areas.

In 2011, I moved to London and was appointed Global Medical Affairs Leader, working across several disease areas on emerging products and established brands, including inflammation, metabolic disease, pain and cognitive disorders. I then became Group Clinical Director within Global Medicines Development at Gothenburg, leading a team of scientists and physicians in the area of cardiovascular, renal and metabolism.
 

Enabling people to develop within the team is a very important element for me and something I am very proud of. There’s nothing in this business you can do alone – it’s about unleashing the potential of a team, that’s what matters.

Anna Sundgren, PhD, MBA Global Development Leader


After being promoted to Therapy Area Clinical Director Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism in 2016, I relocated to Gaithersburg, where my role encompassed project work in renal strategy and tactics and supporting renal medicines under investigation to address chronic kidney disease and its complications.

Being part of the launch team on a new brand, as I am now, is very exciting. It’s very interesting and extremely rewarding. I am very proud of my track record as a project leader, and the work I do to progress our products. Delivering a product is at the core of what we do, and without healthy product delivery we wouldn’t be helping anybody.

My next target – a long-term goal of mine – is to become Global Medicines Leader.

 


Being part of the launch team is very exciting. It’s very interesting and extremely rewarding. Delivering a product is at the core of what we do, and without healthy product delivery we wouldn’t be helping anybody.

Anna Sundgren, PhD, MBA Global Development Leader

Award

CVRM Gmed quarterly award. CVRM Renal strategy – putting the R in CVRM, June 2018.

Award

CVRM Gmed quarterly award. People development – Energizing the Gaithersburg site, June 2018.

Award

CVRM Gmed quarterly award. CVMD Renal strategy, August 2017.


Award

CVRM Gmed quarterly award. Renal Network Community implementation, December 2016.


Award

CEO award. Women summit, December 2017.


Award

Global Medical Affairs award. Received the GMA STAR award for medical affairs leadership on the Fostamatinib development programme, May 2013.


Award

Inspire to innovate award. Storyboarding for human exposure limits committee, January 2011.

CURRENT ROLE

Global Development Leader

During my time as Global Project Manager, 11 compounds achieved pivotal toxicology and preclinical results, enabling a decision to proceed to first time investigation in humans. Of these: five compounds secured further investment and were progressed to human studies, four compounds achieved the equivalent of Phase I results, enabling Phase IIa advancement decisions, five compounds achieved the equivalent of Phase IIa results, enabling Phase IIb advancement decisions.

Enabling people to develop within the team is a very important element for me, and something I am very proud of. There’s nothing in this business you can do alone – it’s about unleashing the potential of a team, that’s what matters.

  Featured publications

The conundrum of GSK3 inhibitors – is it the dawn of a new beginning?

Perry G. Avila, J Moreira, PI Sorensen and AA Tabaton (Eds). Ratan V. Bhat, Ulf Andersson, Shalini Andersson, Laurent Knerr, Udo Bauer and Anna Sundgren-Andersson. Alzheimer’s Disease: New Beginnings. Vol 6 of Advances in Alzheimer’s Disease. July 2018 (680 pps), pp 545-552.

The conundrum of GSK3 inhibitors – is it the dawn of a new beginning?

Ratan V. Bhat, Ulf Andersson, Shalini Andersson, Laurent Knerr, Udo Bauer and Anna Sundgren-Andersson. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;64(s1): S547-S554.

Clinical testing of three novel transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 antagonists in a pharmacodynamic intradermal capsaicin model.

E. Sjögren, T. Kullenberg, B. Jonzon, M. Segerdahl, O. Stålberg, M. M. Halldin, A. K. Sundgren-Andersson. Eur J Pain. 22 (2018): 1214-1228.

Preclinical characterization of three transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor 1 antagonists for early use in human intradermal microdose analgesic studies.

Sjögren E, Halldin MM, Stålberg O, Sundgren-Andersson AK. Eur J Pain. 2018 May;22(5):889-903.

Assessment of Free Drug Concentration in Cyclodextrin Formulations Is Essential to Determine Drug Potency in Functional In Vitro Assays.

Erik Sjögren, Sara Andersson, Anna K Sundgren-Andersson, Magnus M. Halldin, Olle Stålberg. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 105 (2016) 2913-2920.

Rats treated with AZD2858, a GSK3 inhibitor, heal fractures rapidly without endochondral bone formation.

Sisask G, Marsell R, Sundgren-Andersson A, Larsson S, Nilsson O, Ljunggren O, Jonsson KB. Bone. 2013 May;54(1):126-32.

Potent and orally efficacious benzothiazole amides as TRPV1 antagonists.

Besidski Y, Brown W, Bylund J, Dabrowski M, Dautrey S, Harter M, Horoszok L, Hu Y, Johnson D, Johnstone S, Jones P, Leclerc S, Kolmodin K, Kers I, Labarre M, Labrecque D, Laird J, Lundström T, Martino J, Maudet M, Munro A, Nylöf M, Penwell A, Rotticci D, Slaitas A, Sundgren-Andersson A, Svensson M, Terp G, Villanueva H, Walpole C, Zemribo R, Griffin AM. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2012 Oct 1;22(19):6205-11.

GSK-3 inhibition by an orally active small molecule increases bone mass in rats.

Richard Marsell, Gregor Sisask, Yvonne Nilsson, Anna K Sundgren-Andersson, Ulf Andersson, Sune Larsson, Olle Nilsson, Östen Ljunggren, Kenneth B. Jonsson. Bone. 2012 Mar;50(3):619-27.

Capsaicin augments synaptic transmission in the rat medial preoptic nucleus.

Karlsson U, Sundgren-Andersson A K, Johansson S, Krupp J J. Brain Res. 2005 May 10;1043 (1-2):1-11.

RGS9-2 modulates D2 dopamine receptor-mediated Ca2+ channel inhibition in rat striatal cholinergic interneurons.

Cabrera-Vera T M, Hernandez S, Earls L R, Medkova M, Sundgren-Andersson A K, Surmeier D J, Hamm HE. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Nov 16;101 (46):16339-44.

Regulation of G protein signaling by RGS proteins.

Cabrera-Vera T, Sundgren-Andersson A K and Hamm, H E. Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, 7 (2), 2000, pp. 4-13.

Acute phase responses in transgenic mice with central overexpression of secreted IL-1 receptor antagonist.

Lundkvist J, Sundgren-Andersson A K, Tingsborg S, Östlund P, Engfors C, Alheim K, Bartfai T, Iverfeldt K and Schultzberg M. Am. J. Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 276, 1999, R644-651.

IL-6 is essential in TNF-alpha-induced fever.

Simultaneous measurement of brain and core temperature in the rat during fever, hyperthermia, hypothermia and sleep.

Sundgren-Andersson A K, Östlund P and Bartfai T. Neuroimmunomodulation. 5, 1998, 241-247.

Delineation of the proinflammatory cytokine cascade in fever induction.

Zetterström M, Sundgren-Andersson A K, Östlund P and Bartfai T. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998 Sep 29;856:48-52. Review.

Neurobiological mechanisms of fever.

Sundgren-Andersson A K, Gatti S and Bartfai T. The Neuroscientist. 4(2), 1998, pp. 113-121.

Calcium spikes and calcium currents in neurons from the medial preoptic nucleus of rat.

Sundgren-Andersson A K and Johansson S. Brain Res. 783, 1998, pp. 194-209.

Glutamate-evoked currents in acutely dissociated neurons from the rat medial preoptic nucleus.

Karlsson U, Sundgren A K, Näsström J and Johansson S. Brain Res. 759, 1997, pp. 270-276.

Potential-dependent block of human delayed-rectifier K+ channels by internal Na+.

Johansson S, Sundgren A K and Kahl U. Am. J Physiol. 270 (Cell Physiol. 39), 1996, pp. C1131-C1144.

Graded actionpotentials generated by neurons in rat hypothalamic slices.

Johansson S, Sundgren A K and Klimenko V. Brain Res. 700, 1995, pp. 240-244.

Interleukin -1 stimulates the expression of type I and type II interleukin -1 receptors in the rat insulinoma cell line Rinm5F; sequencing a rat type II interleukin-1 receptor cDNA.

Bristulf J, Gatti S, Malinowsky D, Bjork L, Sundgren A K and Bartfai T. Eur. Cytokine Netw. 5(3), 1994, pp. 319-330.