EMA needs Sweden’s strong scientific environment
The ongoing tussle for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is entering its knockout stages; the decision about which candidate countries will progress to the final elimination round has now been taken – and Sweden is on that list. And if we emerge victorious when the final winner of the bid to become EMA’s new host country is announced during the second half of November, there is little doubt that it would bring numerous positive effects for Sweden and not least the Stockholm-Uppsala region.
The approximately 40,000 visitors who travel to the EMA every year to participate in meetings would obviously mean a lot for the hospitality industry regarding hotel nights, restaurant visits and shopping, for example.
In this relocation struggle, it is also important to highlight what Sweden can offer the EMA and EU as a whole. One key aspect is that we are to a very large extent a global research force to be reckoned with, and that farsighted investments made several decades ago have laid the foundation for Sweden not just contending to attract the EMA but – according to several experts – actually lying at the very frontline of the battle to win it. Obviously infrastructure, logistics, housing, etc., are necessary to accommodate the EMA staff and their families, but these prominent pharmaceutical experts also need a vibrant scientific environment in which to work.
But no matter how it goes with the EMA, we have every reason to continue to strengthen our position in the pharmaceuticals field, and it is quite obvious that very powerful research initiatives are the key to success. Moreover, these efforts are needed in all areas, i.e. the academic, healthcare and business sectors.
In addition to significantly contributing to the nation’s GDP – according to LIF (the Swedish Pharmaceutical Industry Association) pharmaceutical exports account for six percent of total Swedish export revenues – Sweden has everything to gain by being a leader rather than a follower in this important area. Among other things, it enables us to ensure that the medicines of the future can be developed and used optimally for us and for coming generations. It’s a complex area and often requires a multi-disciplinary approach and grants.
We must continue to nurture what is unique to Sweden in this regard – the role of universities and our long tradition of academia as a close collaborative partner for both healthcare and industry. Now the global business community also talks about the importance of such cooperation and extends a welcoming hand to universities, small business ventures and biotech companies alike. Here we are already far ahead and if we combine this leadership with, for example, our unique patient registries, we will be better equipped than almost any other member country to develop and optimise EMA’s important work.
In brief, Stockholm-Uppsala has much to offer the EMA, not least, as the Government has pointed out, that in addition to internationally-strong universities, the region also boasts the Swedish Veterinary Institute, Sweden’s University of Agricultural Sciences and, in particular, the Swedish Medical Products Agency (MPA). We who work in the field of medicine already know that the MPA enjoys great respect internationally. This has been confirmed many times by several international experts and was recently emphasised at a Parliamentary ‘Pharmaceuticals Day’ hosted by none other than the EMA Executive Director Guido Rasi, who clearly stated “Sweden has the strongest regulatory authority in the EU”.
If the EU’s Heads of Government do decide to choose Sweden as the new host country, the EMA will be located in one of Europe’s most vibrant scientific environments, in North Hagastad between Stockholm and Solna – perfectly situated next to Karolinska Institutet and the New Karolinska Hospital. A stone’s throw from the E4 motorway, which takes us to Uppsala in just over half-an-hour. And cycling distance from a number of leading pharmaceutical companies and internationally-recognised universities. It would not only benefit Sweden but the whole of Europe as well.
Karin Meyer, CEO, Swedish Pharmaceutical Society
Scaling Up the Value: BioLamina
Uppsala BIO has an important role to connect and contribute to the overall growth of Life Sciences, nationally and internationally, both for academic institutions and companies.
Since the beginning of Testa Center, Uppsala BIOs team has as an external project coordinator role and has developed the application and selection process based on the BIO-X methodology.
Breaking down the numbers 2017-2018
The overall goal of Uppsala BIO is to contribute to Upsala's vision of 70,000 new jobs in 2050. Of these, at least 3500 jobs will be created in the life science sector.>>
Uppsala BIO helps Testa Center off to a flying start
Process based on successful BIO-X methodology.>>
“You can make a holding company profitable, but it takes a bit of luck.”
This autumn, Lars Jonsson, CEO of UU Holding since 1998, retires and hands over a very successful investment business to his successor. “UU Holding is nothing short of a success story,” writes Uppsala BIO’s Erik Forsberg. Lars Jonsson has proven that it is possible to make a holding company profitable.>>
Uppsala’s innovation support system works! Award-winning Kontigo Care is the latest proof.
“With its high costs and huge suffering for those affected as well as their relatives, alcohol abuse is one of our major social problems. Kontigo Care’s work on digital biomarkers is one of the most exciting things I’ve witnessed during my career,” writes Uppsala BIO Buiness Developer Magnus Engevik.>>
Spotlight Uppsala’s unique resource!
Uppsala’s life science industry is healthy and developing well. More than 100 life science companies can be found here and in 2016 they employed about 5000 people and had a combined turnover of approximately SEK 27 billion.>>
“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…”
During 52 hours, staff from the Academic Hospital, AbbVie, Bristol Myers-Squibb and Microsoft worked together to develop and test new ideas and models for early diagnosis and better treatment of cancer. Now the experiences of Sweden's first “Innovation Race” can be summed up.>>
50 years of excellence – it all started with a collaboration between academia and industry!
2017 marks the 50 year anniversary of the RAST-method. Learn about the history and see how Uppsala BIO and UU Innovation are addressing future challenges in asthma and allergy diagnostics.>>
Sweden needs new regulations and ways for collaboration to stay ahead in healthcare and the life sciences
Challenges and opportunities for countries wanting to take a leading role in life sciences, with focus on the future role of Sweden, was the topic of a seminar in May 2017. In our blog Johan Gómez de la Torre, Business Development Manager, Stockholm Science City digest the report.>>
Call for proposals: A pull to transform inventions into innovations
How do we pull out the good ideas that may become new innovative products or treatments for the benefit of patients? Calls for project proposals may be the pull that is needed.>>
Uppsala Health Summit 2017: Time for the world to meet on Infectious Disease Threats
10 – 11 October Uppsala Health Summit gathered 200 decision makers and experts from 30 different countries in a discussion about global threats from zoonotic infectious diseases.>>
EMA needs Sweden’s strong scientific environment
Karin Meyer, CEO, Swedish Pharmaceutical Society about what Sweden can offer the EMA and EU.>>
Check out EIT Health and its Uppsala activities
The purpose of EIT Health is to accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation for healthy living and active ageing in Europe.>>
Fast-growing companies in Uppsala’s life science cluster
Between 2014 and 2015, the number of employees in this category increased by 11%. If we include 2013 as well, the increase is almost 20%.>>
Financial support and further action!
Our long-term goal is, as always, to contribute to growth by driving actions that complement those of the private and public sectors.>>
Tough competition prior to relocation of EMA after Brexit
Among the arguments stressed in the Swedish application to convince other member states that Sweden and Stockholm is best suited to host the EMA, is the Swedish Medical Products Agency (MPA) in Uppsala.>>