History and founders

Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Gunvor Ekman-Ordeberg and Adjunct Professor of Anesthesiology Lars Irestedt, both of the Karolinska Institutet, began doing cooperative research in 1997 with a view to developing a local anesthesia for use in obstetrics and gynecology.

A breakthrough occurred with Dr. Berith Karlsson Tingåker's doctoral thesis "Changes in Uterine Innervation in term pregnancy and labour" (Karolinska Institute 2008). For the first time it became possible to show the presence of specific pain nerves in the uterus and cervix. This finding serves as the basis for a topical anesthetic that can work during gynecological interventions and childbirth.
The thesis also shows that pain nerves in the uterus itself are inactivated during pregnancy. This is also essential for a woman to be able to carry a mobile fetus without feeling pain. On the other hand, the cervix is replete with active pain nerves in both the pregnant and non-pregnant woman. Theoretically it would thus be necessary to anesthetize both the uterus and cervix during interventions in a woman who is not pregnant or in early pregnancy. Alternatively, anesthetizing just the cervix would suffice in a woman in labor.
These conclusions as to where to localize anesthesia necessitated a new approach to developing readily available, effective and local anesthesia methods - Pharmanest's core concept.


Arne Brodin, Ph.D. 
Dr. Brodin is a co-founder of Pharmanest. He has over 30 years of pharmaceutical R&D experience from AstraZeneca and Astra Tech (SE). Since 2007, he has been working for a number of smaller start-up companies and is associate professor in Physical Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Uppsala.

Dr. Brodin received his Ph.D. at the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry in May 1977 from the University of Uppsala.
Gunvor Ekman-Ordeberg, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Ekman-Ordeberg is a co-founder of Pharmanest.  She currently serves as a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Karolinska Institutet as well as senior physician. Her group of 30 members has conducted translational research in obstetrics and gynecology.

Dr. Ekman-Orderberg's publication list includes more than 150 publications research focused upon preterm birth (PTB), protracted labor and the innervation of reproductive tract.

In addition to Pharmanest, Dr. Ekman-Ordeberg is a founder of Dilafor AB. She received her M.D. from the University of Uppsala/Lund in 1972 and Ph.D. at the University of Lund in 1982.  
Lars Irestedt, M.D., Ph.D.  
Dr. Irestedt is a co-founder of Pharmanest and currently serves as an anesthesiologist and associate professor at Karolinska Institutet . Dr. Irestedt has carried out extensive research in anesthesia with about 100 publications and is widely seen as one of Europe’s foremost obstetric anesthesiologists.

Dr. Irestedt has served on Editorial Boards of a number of journals including Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia, and Scandinavian Journal of Pain (current).

He received his M.D. in 1969 from Karolinska Institute and Ph.D. from Karolinska Institute 1978. 
Berith Tingåker Karlsson, M.D., Ph.D. 
Dr. Tingåker is a co-founder of Pharmanest.  She has over 30 years experience in obstetrics/gynecology and pediatric anesthesiology across institutions in Sweden. Dr. Tingåker has served as a senior consultant to Danderyds Hospital since 2005.

Dr. Tingåker Karlsson received her M.D. at Umeå University in 1980 and Ph.D. in 2008 at Karolinska Institutet.