Tap into our research environments

The model of collaboration between academia, industry and the healthcare sector product development is gaining ground among global companies. Equally relevant is to use real life test environments as an innovation arena for testing technologies before launch.

Swedish universities and healthcare providers welcome scientists, industry, investors and societies to come and collaborate with us on meeting the global healthcare challenges of today and tomorrow. This way, we can create value for people as well as businesses around the world and build a foundation for sustainable health.

SWEDEN’S SKILL SET CONTRIBUTES TO NEW SOLUTIONS

Technological achievements and digitalisation create opportunities to find new methods for prevention, more efficient treatments for selected patient populations as well as breakthrough therapies curing patients. Welcome to tap into Sweden’s skill set and assets including world leading protein science, translational research capabilities, patient registries and biobanks, digitalisation competence, testbeds and regenerative medicine.

AN ENVIRONMENT FOR RESEARCH BREAKTHROUGHS AND INNOVATION

The research environment in Sweden within the life sciences has an open culture that actively fosters teamwork, cross-disciplinary collaboration and innovation. Professor Kenneth Chien is just one of an increasing number of leading international researchers choosing to transfer his research activities to Sweden.

TECHNOLOGY IS DRIVING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF BIOLOGY

Sweden can justifiably claim to be a forerunner within genomics, molecular biology and protein science and is now further strengthening this position through increased investments in research funding and infrastructure. By applying new innovative methodologies, the aim is to drive development of new modalities for the diagnosis and treatment of major diseases.

New diagnostic technologies, such as imaging and genetic tests, personalised recommendations on life style changes or early intervention can prevent or postpone disease. By combining registries, biobanks, expertise in genomics, molecular bioscience and protein science, Sweden is contributing to advancing the understanding of why some of us develop disease while others don’t.

Read more about biotechnology in Sweden here.

Biotechnology 

CASE “Early diagnosis providing hope”

TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH CAPABILITIES

Sweden’s conditions for translational research are excellent. Professors at the University Hospitals conducting translational research are often co-appointed with the university thus facilitating cross-border research between the laboratory and the clinic. The industry is showing a growing interest in tapping into these environments in order to benefit from their capabilities. AstraZeneca has collaborated with Swedish universities i.e. Sahlgrenska Academy for decades, leading to the development of e.g. Losec and Seloken, and other international companies are increasingly knocking on the doors.

Biologics in focus

CASE "JANSSEN AND KAROLINSKA INSTITUTET ARE ADDRESSING THE GROWING DEMANDS FOR “REAL WORLD DATA"

 

GROWING DEMAND FOR DIGITAL SOLUTIONS AND OUTCOMES DATA

Digitalisation is set to reshape both the life science industry and healthcare systems, just as it has already disrupted other business sectors. Implementing digital solutions aimed at improving healthcare offers many opportunities. In hindsight, it may appear that Sweden anticipated the digital revolution long before it happened. This is of course not the case but, nevertheless, the country is one of few countries in the world already equipped with the skills and resources required to set developments in motion. These include world leadingresearch, a national healthcare system covering the entire population, patient registries and biobanks, a highly experienced and competent pool of experts within bioinformatics, big data, ICT and mobile technologies, a vibrant life science community and a population with early adopters.

GROWING NEED FOR DATA

Sweden’s patient registries can provide data from ongoing patient care (“real world data”) e.g. diagnosis, use of drugs and medical devices, compliance with prescribed treatments and follow up of outcomes on a large population scale. This has created invaluable tools for developing and improving the Swedish health care as well as constituting a resource for international collaboration.

The Swedish national quality registry for hereditary cardiovascular diseases, Swedeheart, is one example. Quality and compliance with guidelines has been shown to be increased dramatically over the past 10-15 years due to registration, open comparison, and transparent publication of the data. This has in turn resulted in an ongoing improvement in quality of life, fewer relapses, and improved survival rates for patients. A study in the British medical journal, The Lancet, showed that if British patients had received the same care and treatment as in Sweden, 10,000 lives could have been saved over a 6-year period.

Case "PATIENT REGISTRIES – A POWERFUL TOOL FOR IMPROVING QUALITY OF CARE" 

A TREASURE TROVE FOR LARGE POPULATION STUDIES

Combining the use of registries with biobanks paves the way to more in-depth studies on, for example, genetic factors and biomarkers. The Swedish government has invested more than 150 million Euros over the last 5 years and work is underway to further enable the use of patient registries for research, development and follow-up.

Every Swedish citizen has a unique personal identity number. Since the number identifies the individual in connection with his/her contacts with the healthcare system, a range of registry-based studies are made possible. For example, when introducing a new method for early diagnosis in, say 50,000 people with increased risk for disease, you can typically find 90 to 95 per cent of the patients 10 years later when it is time for follow-up.

The potential applications of such data are exciting:

  • Systematic and continuous development and securing quality of care.
  • Clinics can compare outcomes and learn from best practices thereby driving quality of care.
  • Opens avenues for collaboration with industry and international institutes.
  • Enables prospective, randomised trials at a fractional cost of traditional randomised trials.

Read more about how biobank samples can be used to develop new biomarkers

CASE "ACCELERATED TESTING OF NEW BIOMARKERS"

CLINICAL STUDIES SWEDEN

The Swedish Government has launched an extensive national initiative to further strengthen the infrastructure for high-quality clinical studies: A strong national infrastructure for clinical studies of high quality with the aim to establish a clear path for access to all national resources for clinical studies. Clinical Studies Sweden involves all six healthcare regions in Sweden and is coordinated by the Swedish Research Council.

The first version of a national website for clinical studies will be launched 2016. Eventually it will constitute the central point of contact for access to study centres and clinics, regulatory and other expertise as well as relevant networks.

Competitive advantages

  • High standards in clinical studies and experienced researchers.
  • Accessible patient populations and a stable health-care system.
  • Extensive use of high quality electronic medical records.
  • Well-recognised Regulatory Authority, able to provide advice.
  • Well-functioning system for national ethical approval.
  • Highly predictable clinical trials environment with minimal risk.
  • Registries, databases and biobanks that provide excellent opportunities for feasibility and registry studies, real-world evidence data collection and long-term follow-up.

Read more about Clinical studies Sweden

BREAKTHROUGH THERAPIES

Regenerative medicine, cell-based therapies, tissue engineering and gene therapy bring hope for breakthrough therapies. In a key strategic decision, Sweden has created an R&D infrastructure to support the development of new treatments within these fields at Karolinska Institutet, Lund University, University of Gothenburg and Uppsala University.