Proud history in drug development

Sweden has been in the forefront of drug development for decades, not least due to the heritage from Pharmacia and Astra. Today, this legacy manifests itself through the presence of a strong, life science eco-system with a pool of competent professionals all across the value chain from world-leading academic pre-clinical and clinical research to manufacturing.

The Swedish Drug Development Pipeline 2015

This report provides facts and figures about the current Swedish drug development pipeline for drugs intended for use in humans including the status and progress of pipeline compounds, projects and their characteristics. The report covers 123 Swedish drug developing companies, of which 58 companies collectively run 107 projects in clinical phases. Oncology is the dominating indication area with 38 projects.

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Internationally renowned power houses

Sweden’s life science talent and asset base is in several respects superior to any other country or region. One in five researchers work in the sector, in internationally renowned powerhouses including Karolinska Institutet, Uppsala University, Lund University and University of Gothenburg. All of these universities have close links to clinical research in the adjacent university hospitals. Collaborations between International life science companies, both directly with basic scientists and with clinicians are growing. One of the main attraction factors is the opportunity for evidence-based healthcare solutions by accessing data from national patient registries.

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The competence pool of our eco-system

Sweden has a well-established pool of life science consultants who are able to offer expertise along the entire value chain. A major competitive advantage is the ability of these consultants to understand big pharma’s mind-set and requirements since the majority have either previously worked in managerial positions within such companies or acted as consultants. In addition, Sweden’s large number of experts within patent law, legal and financial services, industrial design, etc., should also be seen a major contributing factor to an innovative life science environment.

These experts typically cluster around universities and university hospitals who are also home to incubators, cluster organisations and science parks. These organisations offer a range of services for local scientists and companies, including expertise in IP protection, business development and other types of advice, as well as access to financing and local networks.

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An industry initiative is the BioVentureHub at the heart of the AstraZeneca site in Gothenburg, Sweden, giving emerging biotech/medtech companies and academic groups a unique opportunity to co-locate and interact with big pharma, and each other, to advance the life sciences.

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One of SciLifeLab´s ten platforms is devoted to early drug discovery and development. This platform provides academic researchers with industry standard infrastructure, expertise, and strategic support to help progress projects towards a preclinical proof-of-concept.

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Sweden offers paramount conditions for manufacturing. The decisive factors on where to make new or follow-on investments in manufacturing include safeguarding product quality, meeting regulatory and healthcare body requirements, cost-effective production and guaranteed access to global distribution networks. Meeting environmental standards is another increasingly important factor.

Sweden meets all of these demands and there are numerous recent examples of global companies expanding their capacities in Sweden, including AstraZeneca, Cepheid, Fresenius Kabi, GE Healthcare, Kemwell, Octapharma and Pfizer.