Lovisa Afzelius

Origination Partner at Flagship Pioneering

Lovisa Afzelius is an origination partner at Flagship and the former SVP of Strategy & Operations at Cogen Immune Medicines, now known as Repertoire Immune Medicines. Lovisa has held or holds leadership positions such as CEO, co-founder, president, chairman of the board, and executive director across emerging biotech companies as well as large pharma. A computational scientist by training, she brings to Flagship two decades of leadership experience and a passion for data-driven drug discovery, from early inception to clinical development across multiple therapeutic areas.

Before joining the Flagship ecosystem, Lovisa most recently built and led Pfizer’s systems immunology function and served as executive director of clinical programs. In this role, she launched several Phase II studies across autoimmune indications and as a member of the Inflammation & Immunology Research Unit leadership team, Lovisa managed the portfolio from early target discovery to Phase II clinical trials across all immunological assets. In addition, she served on Pfizer’s Worldwide R&D Data Strategy Committee.

In 2017, Lovisa co-founded Elsa.science, a digital health company in the rheumatoid arthritis space where she serves as chairman of the board. She also serves on the board of the Swedish New England Chamber of Commerce. Before her move to the US in 2013, Lovisa was CEO of BioChromix Pharma and led a successful strategic repositioning of the pipeline within neurodegenerative diseases.

She began her career at AstraZeneca as Project Director, Global In Vitro Metabolism Leader and Computational Chemist across cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurodegenerative diseases, spearheading the use of predictive modeling through chemometrics, quantum mechanics, neural networks, and protein modeling in the space of P450 drug metabolism and inhibition.

Lovisa has received numerous accolades for her work: she was included in the top 100 “most influential persons under age 40 in Sweden” by the business magazine, Affärsvärlden. She was awarded “scientist of tomorrow” at the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations’ 30th anniversary, in recognition of her “considerable personal contribution to moving the boundaries of science, and the application of that science, for the benefit of mankind.” Lovisa also received the Rosenön Award for best thesis of the year within the field of pharmacodynamics/pharmacokinetics in Sweden.

Lovisa holds a Ph.D. in computational chemistry from Uppsala University, a Master of Science in integrative pharmacology from Gothenburg University as well as an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management.



  • Origination Partner

    February, 2020 - present