About us

About XNK

XNK Therapeutics, founded in 2012, is one of the pioneering companies within the landscape of cell therapy. XNK Therapeutics focuses on cancer treatment by developing novel autologous NK cell-based therapies. This effort is strongly supported by the founding shareholders holding expertise in the field.

The shareholders have been actively engaged in the company, each contributing with their unique competence. This has led to a company culture built on active engagement and participation with the company’s and patients’ best interests at heart. XNK Therapeutics has actively been participating in public-private partnerships to develop its technology platform. To date, the main collaborating academic partners have been Karolinska Institutet and the Royal Institute of Technology, both in Stockholm, Sweden.



Chief Executive Officer

Johan Liwing has over 15 years’ experience from leading positions within the life sciences industry in Sweden as well as internationally. During his 13 years at Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), he held various positions in health economics, sales & marketing as well as observational research with increased responsibilities. In his last position at Janssen, as a Global Senior Director, he was responsible for developing the use of observational data. Johan Liwing has also worked for Roche as well as in other areas outside the life sciences industry, such as finance and engineering.


Head of R&D

Stephan Meinke received his doctorate degree in 2010 from the University of Heidelberg, Germany for his work on NK cell signalling. Since then he has been working as a researcher at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital with an interest in NK cell biology and transfusion immunology. He holds a position as assistant professor in the Cell and Gene Therapy Group at Karolinska Institutet.


Project Manager

Karin Mellström has over 20 years of experience from the life sciences industry. She acted as a senior project manager and head of the cell biology department at KaroBio AB and KabiGen AB. She has been a project leader at Avaris AB and held a project coordinator position at Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet with the aim of facilitating the development of cell therapies. Karin Mellström served as CEO of XNK Therapeutics from 2012 to 2020, when she assumed the role of Senior Advisor. She has vast experience from project management, drug development and clinical trials. She has been involved in several international collaborations with Big Pharma.



Markus Lagerlöf has an MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management from Linköping’s Technical University, Linköping, Sweden. He has more than 20 years of life sciences experience at Pfizer, Novartis, GSK, GE Healthcare and Sandoz within sales, marketing, strategy, M&A, business development and management. Since 2015, he is focusing on financing across the equity capital markets via Stockholm Corporate Finance AB. Markus has worked with global, regional and local responsibilities in New York, London, Munich, Stockholm and Uppsala.


Regulatory Advisor

Vera Franzén has long experience from the Swedish pharmaceutical industry, working in senior positions within pharmaceutical development, quality control and regulatory affairs. She has also worked as Head of Section at the Medical Products Agency and as Regulatory Affairs Director at SentoClone, one of the first Swedish ATMP companies.


Chief Financial Officer 

Hans Ericson is a Senior Finance professional with more than 20 years’ experience in international business and stock listed companies, with proven leadership in Controllership and Finance. He has had a number of leading positions primarily in Ericsson and Elekta, where he had the position as Group Controller for a long period of time. Hans has also been a consultant and have had assignments in various areas such as start-ups and large research organisations such as RISE. 

Board of directors



Lena Degling Wikingsson is a pharmacist by training and holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Science. She has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has previously been CEO of Independent Pharmaceutica AB and Avaris AB, a non-executive Director of Avaris AB, held positions at SBL Vaccines, Accuro Immunology, and worked as a biotechnology assessor at the Swedish Medical Products Agency. She has broad experience in regulatory affairs and the development of biologics and vaccines. Lena Degling Wikingsson is currently a non-executive Director of Simplexia and CEO of Dilafor AB.


Gunnar Mattsson is Partner of Advokatfirman Lindahl, one of Sweden’s largest law firms, since 1994. Head of Lindahl’s life sciences practice 2009-2014. He is internationally ranked as a leading lawyer within life sciences and has extensive experience as Director of public and private companies within pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.


Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren (MD, PhD) serves as a Professor at Karolinska Institutet and is the Founder of the Centre for Infectious Medicine (CIM) and former Dean of Research at Karolinska Institutet. He has a long background in NK cell-related research, including NK cell-based cancer immunotherapy. Since 2020, he is the Director of the Vinnova Competence Center NextGenNK, focusing on the development of next-generation NK cell-based immunotherapies. He serves on several boards and SABs in the area of cancer immunotherapy. He is a member of the Nobel Assembly of Karolinska Institutet.


Agneta Edberg has over 25 years’ experience from leading positions in the life sciences industry. She has been CEO at Mylan AB and the Swedish Pharmaceutical Insurance and has held leading positions within Pfizer, Bactiguard and Cilag (Johnson & Johnson). Agneta Edberg has been chairman of the board of Immunicum AB, an immuno-oncology company listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. She is also chairman of the board of Idogen AB and participates on the board of the Vinnova project CAMP, Centre for Advanced Medical Products. Since 2020, she participates on the board of the Vinnova Competence Center NextGenNK, focusing on the development of next-generation NK cell-based immunotherapies.