Innovation award to Ola Söderberg and Björn Hellman for Sloppymerase


Ola Söderberg's and Björn Hellman's research groups have received UU Innovation's Attractive Innovation Project Award 2023 for their work with Sloppymerase, the artificial enzyme expected to be of great importance for biotechnological and medical research.

The team behind Sloppymerase: Björn Hellman, Johan Heldin, Leonie Wenson, Ola Söderberg and Erik Bivehed
Sloppymerase team: Björn Hellman, Johan Heldin, Leonie Wenson, Ola Söderberg and Erik Bivehed

“Our research is characterized by our aim to ensure that the result of our efforts will be of benefit to society. With Sloppymerase, we have sold six patents in a row to Swedish companies, which I read as proof that we are heading in the right direction. That UU Innovation – after providing invaluable support throughout the entire process – is now also presenting us with an Attractive Innovation Project Award is yet another reason for us to feel proud of our work,” says Ola Söderberg, Professor of Pharmaceutical cell biology.

The Attractive Innovation Project Award was introduced in 2017 by UU Innovation, a unit at Uppsala University working to transform the innovative skills of the university's researchers and students into societal value. The award acknowledges innovative projects and companies that have successfully attracted external funding that further strengthen development opportunities.

Ola Söderberg, Faculty of Pharmacy
Ola Söderberg, Faculty of Pharmacy

“We recently sold the patent rights to Sloppymerase to Genovis, a Medicon Village-based company that develops enzymes for the life science industry. They provide an environment we consider perfect for the continued development of Sloppymerase in order to optimise the opportunities we hope to provide biotechnological and medical research. In parallel, We will, with funding from the Swedish Cancer Foundation, use Sloppymerase to develop a method to study the processes that lead to the emergence and progress of cancer, while completing the article in which we present our work,” says Ola Söderberg.

Since the launch of the Attractive Innovation Project Award, numerous researchers at the Faculty of Pharmacy have been acknowledged for their progress on the path from idea to innovation: In 2022, Nils-Otto Ahnfelt was recognized for his work on recreating Hjärnes Testamente. In 2021, Mats Larhed and Mathias Hallberg were awarded for HaLaCore Pharma and Anja Sandström and Lindon Moodie for their contributions to CoLD Therapeutics – and in 2019 Ola Söderberg received the award for the first time, then for Molboolean, a method for labeling and measuring proteins.

“That we in 2017 joined Uppsala University's Faculty of Pharmacy has provided great value for our operations. Here, we find ourselves in a curious environment where active work is constantly underway to stimulate the creative processes, something I am convinced plays a vital part in our faculty so often being represented in contexts like these.”


  • The researchers at Uppsala University who have developed Sloppymerase are:
    Ola Söderberg, Professor of Pharmaceutical cell biology 
    Leonie Wenson, PhD Student
    Johan Heldin, Researcher
    Björn Hellman, Professor of Toxicology
    Erik Bivehed, PhD Student



Ola Söderberg, professorOla Söderberg, Professor
Faculty of pharmacy

Björn Hellman, ProfessorBjörn Hellman, Professor
Faculty of pharmacy

text: Magnus Alsne, photo: UU Innovation, Mikael Wallerstedt

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Last modified: 2022-11-08