NLSDays, Sept 14-15 2016:
Text written by PCG Clinical Services team
The recent NLS Days 2016 conference in Stockholm was an enlightening two days that brought together industry leaders from 36 countries to address the pressing challenges that must be overcome in order to deliver more sustainable healthcare. The packed conference programme also showcased some truly exciting developments for diagnostics and therapeutics that are being developed across the Nordics.
This year’s event included nine Super Sessions covering novel approaches to immuno-oncology and personalised medicine, as well as digitalisation of cancer care, unmet medical needs for women, future care needs for Alzheimer’s patients and business partnering. Each Super Session included short presentations from a panel of speakers followed by thought-provoking debates with audience participation.
Partnership has always been the driving force behind NLS Days and the first three Super Sessions in this year’s conference programme focused on investment and partnering approaches for early stage companies as well as larger sized organisations. Experts from across the field provided discussions around investment models, advice on negotiating with investors, and creative approaches to partnerships. Speakers ranged from entrepreneurs to leaders of some of the largest pharmaceutical companies, with useful input from venture capital groups and the Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV).
The fourth Super Session centred on unmet medical needs in women and provided some eye-opening statistics on the numbers of women worldwide that suffer from untreated medical conditions. In some cases, such as pre-eclampsia, there are no therapeutics available, while in other cases, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), treatments are not standardised and vary considerably from one country to the next. Reasons for why these unmet needs remain were debated and were found to be due to lack of funding in the field – and therefore lack of primary research and innovation; lack of clarity about the causes of the diseases and a tendency to treat symptoms not the disease itself; and complexities and long delays associated with diagnosing the disease. Speakers from several pharmaceutical and biotech companies presented some novel treatment approaches to pre-eclampsia, labour complications, pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), endometriosis and pain experienced during gynaecological procedures.
The last Super Sessions focused on cancer therapies and sustainable healthcare, and covered a number of interesting new approaches to immuno-oncology, as well as some exciting digitalisation developments for diagnosing and treating cancers, including personalised medicine. In keeping with this year’s main theme of sustainable healthcare, these sessions explored new collaborations between life science R&D and data analysers that are resulting in ground-breaking approaches to cancer prediction and diagnoses. The Nordics remains highly concerned with ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare through embracing digital technologies. However, rather than focusing on collecting ever-larger data sets, organisations across the region have realised that we need to place more emphasis on applying smarter analytics in order to provide meaningful results that will aid and accelerate decision-making for healthcare providers.
Once new potential treatments reach the clinical trial phases, it’s equally important that the study design, data handling and biostatistics are suitably planned to deliver meaningful results. At PCG Clinical Services, a full service Scandinavian CRO, we place great emphasis on the importance of well-planned trials in order to meet your objectives. With our expert advisory team and progressive EDC technology, we help drug developers to accelerate their clinical development and get new treatments to patients faster.
Throughout the NLS Day presentations, it was apparent that there remains a pressing need for greater collaboration and improved knowledge between industry, academic and not-for-profit organisations in order to improve patient experiences while delivering more sustainable healthcare. We believe that events such as NLS Days play a vital role in enabling greater collaboration and transparency between such groups and we’re looking forward to next year’s conference in Malmö-Copenhagen!