Lovisa Afzelius is an origination partner at Flagship Pioneering and leads one of Flagship’s Business Units. A computational scientist by training, she brings to Flagship two decades of leadership experience and a passion for data-driven drug discovery. Lovisa has served as CEO, co-founder, president, board chairman, and executive director, in emerging biotech and large pharma companies. She joined Flagship in early 2020, leading innovation as founding CEO of Alltrna and co-founder and CEO of World Economic Forum 2023 Technology Pioneer Apriori Bio, and co-founder and CEO of Metaphore Biotechnologies and FL89.
Previously, Lovisa 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 co-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 a board member. She also serves on the board of the Swedish New England Chamber of Commerce. Before moving to the US in 2013, Lovisa was CEO of BioChromix Pharma. She began her career at AstraZeneca as Project Director, Global In Vitro Metabolism Leader and Computational Chemist across cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Lovisa has received numerous accolades for her work: In 2023, she was named to the PharmaVoice 100 list of life science industry leaders and in 2022, she was named one of the Top Women in Biopharma by Endpoints. She was included in the top 100 “most influential persons under age 40 in Sweden” by Affärsvärlden, and awarded “scientist of tomorrow” at the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations’ 30th anniversary. Lovisa received the Rosenön Award for best thesis of the year within the field of pharmacodynamics/pharmacokinetics in Sweden.
Lovisa holds a PhD in computational chemistry from Uppsala University, a Master of Science in integrative pharmacology from Gothenburg University as well as an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.