EpiEndo Pharmaceuticals is a privately held Icelandic pharmaceutical company developing a proprietary portfolio of compounds with epithelial barrier enhancing properties. We are focusing on chronic respiratory diseases with initial clinical trials planned in 2020.

The company is seed-funded, privately held and in late preclinical development.


Research at EpiEndo Pharmaceuticals focuses on finding ways to strengthen epithelial tissues using novel drugs. Based on the existing commercial macrolide azithromycin, we are finding ways to create new treatments for chronic airway diseases, with applications for other epithelial tissues.

The research team at EEP has over a decade´s experience studying the lungs and the effects of the macrolide antibiotic, azithromycin (Asgrimsson et al. 2006. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 50:1805-12., Halldorsson et al. 2007. In Vitro Cell Develop Biol, 43:283-89., Halldorsson et al. 2010. Am J Resp Cell Mol Biol, 42:62-8.). Patients receiving azithromycin showed reduced hospital admissions, and our studies demonstrate that azithromycin could enhance barrier strength at the cellular level.

Our current focus is to develop novel and proprietary drugs that preserve the barrier enhancing effects of azithromycin but lack the antibiotic activity. The cellular response to these new drugs are the key focus, ranging from how they enhance the cellular barrier of the lungs to the response generated by the cells, which contribute to improved lung function.


Fredrik Lehmann, PhD.

Fredrik has a PhD degree in Medicinal Chemistry from the University  of Gothenburg and has extensive experience having worked on various drug projects in different phases of development. In addition to being the CEO of EpiEndo, Fredrik holds the position as Head of Research and CMC at Oncopeptides AB in Stockholm, Sweden.


Dr. Friðrik Rúnar Garðarsson, MD
Founder & Board member

Friðrik Rúnar (MD) graduated from the University of Iceland in 2010, finishing his internship in 2011. Most of his clinical work has been in pediatrics and neonatology as well as anesthesia and pulmonary intensive care. His clinical work has led him to deal mainly with patients who suffer from both chronic and acute airway diseases. Since 2007, has been working towards forming the hypotheses on which EpiEndo’s compound development and novel research is based. Friðrik’s research initiative and scientific innovation led to the founding of EpiEndo Pharmaceuticals ehf. in 2014.


Professor Thorarinn Gudjonsson, PhD
Head of in vitro research

Thorarinn has a PhD from the University of Copenhagen. He is now a professor at the University of Iceland and leads the Stem Cell research unit at Biomedical Center at University of Iceland.


Olafur Baldursson, MD, PhD
Medical Director

Ólafur is pulmonologist trained at the University Hospital in Iowa City at the Michael J Welsh Laboratory. He also has a PhD from the University of Iceland where he researched lung epithelium. 
He is the Medical Director at the University Hospital in Iceland. 

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Finnur Friðrik Einarsson

Finnur Friðrik Einarsson is an experienced project manager with engineering degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iceland and Engineering Management from Reykjavik University. He has more than 15 years of experience as a technical consultant and was previously a General Manager for an Icelandic SME software company with its headquarters in Iceland servicing companies across multiple regions.


Jennifer Kricker, PhD
Project Director

Jennifer has 20 years of extensive research experience in cellular and matrix biology. She has been involved with EpiEndo since it was founded in 2014 and played a key role in our pre-clinical research as a scientist and laboratory manager at the Stem Cell Research Unit, University of Iceland. Research interests include epithelial barrier, airway disease and EMT.


Board members

Professor Clive Page, OBE - Chairman

Dr. Friðrik Rúnar Garðarsson, Founder of EpiEndo Pharmaceuticals ehf.

Hjalmar Skarphedinsson, PhD

Magnus Berg Magnusson

Dr. Olafur Baldursson


Scientific advisory board


Professor Dave Singh, MD

Dave Singh is professor of clinical pharmacology & respiratory medicine at the University of Manchester. He graduated from Cambridge University and then trained in clinical pharmacology and respiratory medicine in Manchester, including postgraduate research. His research interest is the development of new drugs for asthma and COPD, involving clinical trials, biomarker studies and basic mechanisms. He has over 250 publications. He is a member of the GOLD Science Committee, and the chair of the ERS airway pharmacology group. He is the medical director of the Medicines Evaluation Unit, which performs both early and late phase clinical trials.

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Professor Peter Barnes DM, DSc, FRCP, Master FCCP, FMedSci, FRS, FERS

Peter Barnes is Margaret-Turner Warwick Professor of Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute and Honorary Consultant Physician at Royal Brompton Hospital, London. He qualified at Cambridge and Oxford Universities (first class honours) and was appointed to his present post in 1987 and was head of respiratory medicine at Imperial College until 2017. He has published >1200 peer-review papers on asthma, COPD and related topics (h-index 168) and has written or edited over 50 books. He is one of the top 10 most highly cited researchers in the world and the most highly cited respiratory researcher in the world over the last 30 years.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2007, the first respiratory researcher for over 150 years. He is currently a member of the Scientific Committee of global guidelines on COPD (GOLD). He also serves on the Editorial Board of over 30 journals and is currently an Associate Editor of Chest, Journal of COPD Foundation and Editor in Chief of Up-to-Date Pulmonary Diseases. He has given several prestigious lectures, including the Amberson Lecture at the American Thoracic Society, the Sadoul Lecture at the European Respiratory Society and the Croonian Lecture at the Royal College of Physicians. He has been received honorary degrees from the Universities of Ferrara (Italy), Athens (Greece), Tampere (Finland), Leuven (Belgium) and Maastricht (Netherlands). He is an emeritus NIHR Senior Investigator, a Master Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and elected member of Academia Europaea and American Association of Physicians. He served as President of the European Respiratory Society 2013/14 and is currently President of the British Association for Lung Research. He co-founded an Imperial spin-out company RespiVert, which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson and has developed novel inhaled treatments for COPD and severe asthma.

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Professor Emeritus, Carl Persson

Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital of Lund, Lund, Sweden.

Author or co-author of some 400 research papers and editor or co-editor of 6 books in the respiratory field. My most recent publication is a ’Current Perspectives’ review in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (April 2019 issue) addressing in vivo-features of airway microcirculation and epithelial lining in health and disease.

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Dr. Olafur Baldursson, University Hospital of Iceland

Professor Thorarinn Gudjonsson, University of Iceland

Jennifer Kricker, PhD, University of Iceland


Latest updates


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 761828

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 761828



Fredrik Lehmann, CEO


EpiEndo Pharmaceuticals ehf

Eiðistorg 13 - 15

3rd floor, Innovation House

170 Seltjarnarnes



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