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Global excellence and local presence – we can do both

Although the world is still struggling with the corona virus and new mutations, things are slowly but surely getting back to a somewhat normal situation.

The life science area has been in focus like never-before, and new science has been developed into life-saving treatments. There is a lot to be learned from this with regard to the importance of joining forces between industry, academia, healthcare and regulatory agencies to create new ways to accelerate drug/medtech development for the benefit of patients with urgent medical needs. The potential in the Nordic region to further strengthen our position is substantial, but we have to be pro-active.

“The potential in the Nordic region to further strengthen our position is substantial, but we have to be pro-active.”

There is no magic bullet for successful development of a molecule to become a compound ready for clinical trials, and to later get market approval. Development projects in the life science area are complex, high-risk projects dependent on so many factors that can go wrong. Challenging biology, new science that needs to be validated, regulatory approvals – salted with completely unpredictable factors such as global pandemic situations.

One factor that we don’t talk that much about is the need to both maintain and further develop an infrastructure for drug/medtech development. This includes a workforce with the right competence for the new developments in pharmaceutical and medtech development. This is nothing we can take for granted and needs continuous investments by many. A university degree and science merits are important ingredients, but the knowledge needed to make the right decision in terms of drug/medtech development requires hands-on experience, many times gained from large/mid-size life science companies.

The Nordic countries have many areas of niche competences in different parts of the drug/medtech development chain. To take the next step towards global excellence in drug/medtech development, there is a need to cover a greater chunk of the development projects and thus become less fragmented. For example, the clinical development plan is highly dependent on the decisions taken in the early pre-clinical stage. By providing an eco-system covering a greater part of the development project, we will make the Nordic region even more attractive for our local companies as well as international players.

“By providing an eco-system covering a greater part of the development project, we will make the Nordic region even more attractive for our local companies as well as international players.”

We need to have a critical mass of people with the right competences and an infrastructure of necessary support functions to reach international visibility and attract investments. To be a trusted partner, no matter if you are a biotech company, service provider or health care provider – it is only delivery of results that can bring success and thereby further trust and investments. High quality and cost-efficient processes are key factors, and we must deliver on both.

So let us all contribute to providing the right conditions to further educate and grow the next generation of Nordic pharmaceutical/medtech developers to become niche specialists, but also to construct eco-systems that cover additional areas to add value to local as well as international life science companies and investors. We have the prerequisites – let’s do it!

By Karin Meyer, PhD, CEO, Center for Translational Research AB and member of SwedenBIO’s task force for clinical trials

Photo of Karin Meyer: Margareta Bloom Sandbaeck