meet the team

the story of Palette Life Sciences
mirrors the collective stories of our team.

we are thinkers, observers

and moreover admirers of physicians and medical researchers who question the status quo in pursuit of finding better ways to solve uncommon conditions. We have come together as experienced healthcare executives, inspired by the notion of how a small, focused team can affect the quality of life for underserved patients around the world.

Palette Life Sciences is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with executive offices in Santa Barbara, California, and Dallas, Texas.

Per Langoe
Per LangoeCEO
Though he may not paint, draw or sculpt, Per is an artist.

They say you can look at a great work of art every day and appreciate new things about it: a subtle detail, a color shift, things in the background you never saw before. Per is able to look at the Life Sciences “canvas” and see the full landscape – the issues and roadblocks that stand in the way of patient success AND the innovative solutions that can break down those barriers.

There is an art to building a business, and in this role our CEO is truly a visionary.

After spending time at Pharmacia Corporation, Q-Med, Galderma and Nestlé Skin Health, he founded Palette Life Sciences with Travis and Ole with a vision to develop products that provide better quality of life to people around the globe. Per brings a unique combination of vast international experience and solid commercial tenure along with what he calls “enough background in development and manufacturing to be dangerous.” He oversees the overall operations and resources at Palette and acts as the main point of communication between the board of directors and the management team.

While other Life Science companies tend to have a more “paint by numbers” approach to product innovation, Per has a different view. “Product technology is critical but our culture, people and processes are equally vital. We focus on how to cultivate and drive innovation and use that innovation and passion to elevate patient care.”

As an avid art collector, Per has seen many beautiful things, but one image stays with him. In his early days, working with an intraocular eye lens company he interviewed a patient in her mid 80s who cried tears of joy because she could now actually see her grandchildren again. It is this kind of experience that drives Per forward.

Per received an MSc in Business Studies and Economics with a major in Business Studies, and a BSc in Business Administration and Economics with a major in International Business Studies, from Uppsala University in Sweden.

Travis Gay
Chief Commercial Officer
Travis GayChief Commercial Officer
If you want to get the real goods on Travis, don’t ask him directly.

That’s because he’s humble and appreciates the chance to work with incredibly smart people in an industry he loves. Beneath that humility is a pragmatic, efficient operator and a key founding partner.

As the Chief Commercial Officer, Travis leads the developmental efforts of the organization by transforming proprietary innovations in medical technology into commercially viable solutions.

Finding early success leading global sales and marketing teams in the radiation oncology sector for Mentor Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson company, Travis was on course to take on a similar role at another company. Yet, it was a heartbreaking encounter with the limits of cancer treatment that changed his perspective and purpose. Travis became determined to put his efforts into becoming involved earlier in the product cycle where he felt he could share his experiences. His curiosity and desire to listen helped him shape products and have a closer connection to helping people live better lives while filling gaps in their present care. Through this perspective and his unwavering curiosity, Travis observed novel uses for NASHA being developed in Europe putting the wheels in motion for Palette Life Sciences.

For the past 25 years, Travis has worked in both established and startup medical device and life science companies, where he has guided companies from inception to IPO through successful exit strategies. He is a graduate of the Executive Education Program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Palette is the most fun he’s had so far.

Ole Mikkelsen
Chief Operating Officer
Ole Steven MikkelsenChief Operating Officer
Remember when you were a kid and had to pick teams on the playground? You would pick Ole first.

Competing at the highest level of competitive soccer, both as a player and more recently as a coach, Ole has the drive, discipline and commitment to build deep relationships and camaraderie with his colleagues to ultimately create what he calls “a highly motivated, winning environment.”

As our first Chief Operating Officer, Ole had the chance to build his dream team from the ground up - with a mission that matters: To have a positive impact on patients and their family’s lives by meeting an unmet or under-served clinical need. He now provides exceptional business leadership across all global operational aspects of our company, including systems, processes, supply chain, regulatory compliance and clinical affairs.

Even if this page scrolled on and on, we would not have enough room to pack in all of Ole’s experience and accomplishments. While he will tell you it is his hair that makes him unique in this industry – it is more likely the 25+ years of experience designing sustainable business models, developing viable infrastructures, and driving process improvements to ensure both scalability and profitability. He has done so for many industry-leading organizations such as: Accuray Inc., Mentor Corp., and Amgen Inc.

Yes, Ole likes to win, but winning encompasses more than a healthy bottom line – his biggest win is “literally getting hugs and sincere appreciation from random people based on my company’s impact on their individual lives.”

Ole attended UCLA receiving an MBA from the Anderson School of Management and Bachelor Degrees in International Economics & Scandinavian Languages.

And if you’re reading this on a Saturday, he will likely be sitting down with a nice glass of wine and listening to some music (on vinyl).

Amy Ashton
VP of Global Human Resources
Amy AshtonVP of Global Human Resources
They say there’s no typical day in HR. And we say, Amy is no typical HR leader.

With a background in high tech, premium branded spirits, video gaming and global supply chain, at-a-glance you may not think she would be well-suited for Life Sciences – but it’s exactly that diverse mix of experience that makes Amy the perfect fit.

After many successful positions, Amy was drawn to Palette because she wanted to play a significant role in what she calls “a tangible output that everybody can relate to: improving the duration and quality of life through innovations in life sciences.” She believes that across all industries, people at all levels of an organization need a rational, experienced, trustworthy HR advocate. Amy takes pride in getting to know the whole individual - and truly works hard to drive each employee’s success.

Amy built our HR department from the ground up and manages the entire range of HR functions from policy development and strategic planning to employee relations, compensation and day-to-day operations. Her colleagues describe her as “resourceful, trustworthy and perceptive - with a special talent for understanding, respecting and motivating different personality types. It just comes naturally to Amy.”

She embodies the optimal balance of zen and intensity. If you visit her office you will experience zen-like organization yet if you challenge her to a game of tennis you will see the focus and determination that made her a fierce USTA competitor back in the day...and such a successful leader today.

Amy is from the North Shore of Long Island. She attended Ohio Wesleyan University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law Studies.

James Leech
VP of Strategy & Corporate Development
James LeechVP of Strategy & Corporate Development
If you think the words “adventurous, bold and spontaneous” don’t describe a VP of Strategy & Corporate Development in the Life Sciences industry, James Leech will prove you wrong.

He’s been at Palette since our inception and he’s one of those rare, multi-talented people we call a “triple threat” (in show biz it’s singing, dancing, acting - for James it’s finance, strategy, and operations). He is driven by a passion to disrupt, drive positive change and have a long-lasting impact on the Life Sciences industry.

Back to the triple threat. As VP of Strategy & Corporate Development James is deeply experienced in finance, strategic planning, and operations proven by the fact that he has executed on more than $1B in aggregate transaction value. He has advised on a range of traditional and complex transaction types and structures spanning M&A, licensing and partnerships, option agreements, and financings across the US, EU and APAC.

He describes his early days as a Senior Associate at Back Bay Life Science Advisors as: “A challenging and rewarding fast-paced crash course in strategy, deal-making, investing, and finance.” And from the day we convinced him to pack up and move across the country we have been taking advantage of his razor-sharp brain and unrelentless dedication to developing solutions for unmet medical needs.

Many impressive talents, but there’s no ego. James is the kind of teammate you want at the table, the Zoom screen and anywhere else that vital, thoughtful, strategic decisions are being made.

James graduated summa cum laude from the University of Rhode Island with a BS in Finance. While at URI, he was Captain of the Men’s Rowing Team. He continued to row competitively with Riverside Boat Club in Cambridge, MA for 5 years after his collegiate rowing career. James credits the sport with teaching him many important life lessons including the value of commitment, work ethic and a strong team.

Jeff Lewis
VP of US Sales
Jeff LewisVP US Sales
Seeking highly competitive, ruthless backgammon player
(to head up US Sales).

There was no ”Want Ad” when it came to selecting our VP of Sales. We knew we wanted a proven leader ready to roll up their sleeves and create something exceptional from the ground up - and Jeff knew he wanted to be a part of something game-changing in the Life Sciences category. It was a perfect match. Full transparency - the fact that we had worked beside this sales powerhouse for over 20 years is what had us knocking on his door.

When asked what drew him to Palette, Jeff recalls early discussions with Rich, Travis and Ole, longtime trusted friends and colleagues (Jeff also hails from Mentor/Johnson & Johnson and Sientra). He was inspired by their plan to create “a small, nimble company with a unique and progressive portfolio, founded by industry veterans, looking to take on larger competitors and win.” Jeff’s passion for the patient, and his competitive spirit kicked in and he signed on.

As the VP of US Sales, Jeff is responsible for leading all sales efforts in support of our core brands. Upon joining Palette, Jeff was tasked with recruiting, building and training a new sales team from the ground up. He focused on creating a culture of trust, loyalty, respect and success. Jeff has this unique, deep understanding of the category and the importance of cultivating and solidifying customer relationships. Now, with a stellar team in place, Jeff leads US sales efforts driven by innovative strategies designed to meet and exceed our revenue objectives.

Maybe it’s all that backgammon training, but Jeff handles an extraordinary amount of responsibility and pressure with a calm, genuine, collaborative style. He says it’s because he’s right where he wants to be – part of an organization that is committed to the development of products that elevate patient care and enhance quality of life.

Jeff attended the University of Arizona and received a Bachelor of Arts, in Political Science.

Richard Low Jr.
VP of Marketing
Richard Low Jr.VP of Marketing
You’ve heard the saying “To know a man you must walk a mile in his shoes.” Well, as a member of the chronic patient community, Rich has a deep understanding of patient and clinician ecosystems.

Rich will tell you that living with a primary immunodeficiency like Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID) provides him with a unique perspective that not every person has. When you see marketing through the lens of being a patient you demand empathy, authenticity, accuracy and clear storytelling - all things Rich and his team deliver in every piece of messaging that touches our global audiences.

Rich’s time in marketing began with a love of product development, a passion for fixing things, and a desire to leave a massive positive footprint. His journey encompasses over 20 years of experience creating and delivering transformative technologies that have disrupted markets around the globe. Insight, combined with his design sensibilities and passion for creativity have led to product introductions and marketing programs that have significantly improved patients’ lives.

Early days at Mentor Corporation (acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2011) led to his commercialization of Sientra Inc. a global aesthetics competitor, where Rich made significant contributions to their highly successful 2014 IPO. He wouldn’t want us spreading this around, but he gave his mom a picture and a handful of the NASDAQ confetti.

Flash forward to a lunch with Travis and Ole where Rich saw the opportunity to be a part of something vitally important – addressing the needs of patients overlooked by traditional medical companies. He was all in. Rich has built a team of what he calls, “Amazing humans who are passionate problem solvers relentlessly pursuing the most optimal, disruptive solutions to drive change.” It’s not surprising that strong coffee is his beverage of choice.

Rich‘s undergraduate degree is from UC Riverside, including a year at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. He also received an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. When not focused on patient lives, he’s roasting coffee at his side hustle Low Pigeon Coffee Roasters in Santa Barbara.

Helena Jansson
Managing Director of Palette Life Sciences AB
Helena JanssonManaging Director of Palette Life Sciences AB

Helena is the Managing Director of Palette Life Sciences AB. She is an experienced life science executive, with a 25 year proven track record of business development and the commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Most recently she was Chief Executive Officer of Pharmanest AB. Before that she held several senior leadership positions at Medivir AB including Director of Alliance Management and Head of Supply Chain. At BioPhausia AB she held positions in business development, sales and marketing.

board of directors

David R. Amerson
Chairman of the Board,
Member of the Compensation Committee
David R. Amerson
Chairman of the Board, Member of the Compensation Committee

David is the former President (retired 2021), of NeoTract Interventional Urology at Teleflex. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors for NeoTract, Inc. from July 2011 to October 2017 when the company was successfully acquired by Teleflex for $1.1B. Mr. Amerson led NeoTract to become a best-in-class medical device company, achieving significant milestones including FDA De Novo clearance, new CPT 1 codes, a New Tech APC code and ~300M U.S. covered lives. Both NeoTract and Mr. Amerson have been recognized as one of the most successful Medical Device Companies in recent years. From 2006 to 2011, Mr. Amerson was Global Vice President, General Manager for the Surgical Urology division of Coloplast, a publicly traded medical equipment company based in Denmark. In addition to Palette Life Sciences, he currently serves on the following Boards: Executive Chairman of New Enterprise Associates (NEA) funded company, NC8, Chairman of the Board and Board Member of Calyxo Medical, and Board Member of Relievant Medical. Mr. Amerson holds an MBA from Argosy University and a BA in Political Science from the University of West Georgia.

Newton Aguiar
Director, Member of the Compensation Committee, Member of the Audit Committee
Newton Aguiar
Director, Member of the Compensation Committee, Member of the Audit Committee

Mr. Aguiar is an independent investor and advisor. He is a former Managing Director at Credit Suisse London office. Previous roles include Senior Healthcare Advisor at Warburg Pincus, LLC and a partner at Avista Capital Partners. Mr. Aguiar has over 20 years of international healthcare experience. He has been involved with several successful healthcare investments and in addition to Palette Life Sciences, he currently sits on the board of OssDsign AB. Previously, Mr. Aguiar was a Partner with DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, from which Avista was spun out. Prior to this he was a Partner with Triton Partners, based in London. He has also worked at Advent International, Alex. Brown & Sons, and Millipore Corporation. Mr. Aguiar is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (MBA) and McGill University (BSc).

Mattias Klintemar
Director, Member of the Compensation Committee, Member of the Audit Committee
Mattias Klintemar
Director, Member of the Compensation Committee, Member of the Audit Committee

Mattias works as an Investment Director of Ostersjostiftelsen, or the Foundation for Eastern and European Studies, which is the largest owner of Palette Life Sciences. Mr. Klintemar has extensive experience from global management and board positions. Before he joined Ostersjostiftelsen he was CEO of a listed Swedish company, Morphic Technologies and he has also worked for the Nordic investment bank, ABG Sundal Collier and Arthur Andersen. He currently serves on the board of the listed companies Oatly, Moberg Pharma, OncoZenge and Biosergen. Mr. Klintemar holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Karlstad University.

Ted Lamson
Ted Lamson

Ted Lamson, Ph.D. is co-founder of NeoTract and co-inventor of UroLift for enlarged prostates. He served as Chief Technical Officer for Clinical and Medical Affairs at Teleflex. He now consults for Teleflex Interventional Urology with regards to clinical and medical affairs. He is a Strategic Advisor to ExploraMed and serves on the board of Eximis Surgical and advisor to Calyxo. Dr. Lamson has also held management roles in Medtronic and Pfizer. He has over 30 years experience in the medical device industry in multiple fields and holds over 100 patents, many of which represent current commercial medical products.

Samuel E. Navarro
Samuel E. Navarro

Mr. Navarro is the Managing Partner and founder of Gravitas Healthcare LLC, an advisory firm entirely focused on the emerging medical technology industry, with transactions ranging from mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, and investments with the leading corporate consolidators in the industry. Prior to founding Gravitas Healthcare, Sam spent over two decades in Wall Street with finance, investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, equity research and investment management experience in the medical device industry. Among his previous roles, he was senior portfolio manager of the Galleon Group Healthcare Fund, and Global Head of Healthcare Investment Banking at ING Barings. Mr. Navarro is also on the Board of Directors of BioSig Technologies. He received his MBA in Finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, A Master of Science in Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Gun Nilsson
Gun Nilsson

Gun Nilsson currently holds the position of President of Melker Schörling AB, and her career experience includes IP-Only Group, Sanitec Group and Duni AB. In recent years she has combined her operative roles as president and CFO with several board assignments. Ms. Nilsson serves as Board Member of AAK AB, HEXPOL AB and Bonnier Group AB and is also a member of The Swedish Corporate Governance Board. She holds a Master of Science in business administration and economics.

Paul De Potocki
Director, Member of the Audit Committee
Paul De Potocki
Director, Member of the Audit Committee

Mr. De Potocki has more than 25 years of experience in international corporate leadership, commercial operations, business & corporate development and financial management in both public and private life sciences companies. He is a former President and Chief Executive Officer of public companies Diagenic and Aerocrine. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Asarina Pharma and is a former board member of Athera Biotechnologies. Mr. De Potocki has also served as Global Vice President of Commercial Operations at Biovitrum, FreseniusKabi and Pharmacia & Upjohn. He holds an MSc from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and an MBA from the London School of Economics.