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Life sciences event helps secure £900,000 of business for UK companies in Sweden

UKTI Sweden's annual R&D drug development tour helps to identify future clients in Sweden for UK R&D companies.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Delegates at 2013 drug development tour

UK companies have secured direct business worth up to £900,000 with good prospects for future business following a recent R&D drug development tour. The tour was organised by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Sweden. It has also generated some potential inward investment leads and contributed to the delivery of the UK government’s Life Science strategy.

Opportunities in Sweden

The life science industry in Sweden accounts for around 20% of net exports and is ranked number five by Scientific American Worldview 2013. The European Commission ranks Sweden as the best country in the EU for getting new ideas to market.

Opportunities for UK companies include:

  • partnership in early phase R&D - majority of R&D performed by Swedish companies is outsourced

  • development of new Karolinska Solna University Hospital and downtown knowledge centre will offer subcontracts and partnership opportunities at this world class life science cluster

  • sales and subcontracts and partnerships at new European Spallation Source (ESS) in southern Sweden - this major European research facility for materials research in Lund will attract top scientists, experts and enterprises from all around the world

R&D drug development tour

The tour brought together 16 UK research companies with players from the Swedish life science sector. Over the 2 day event the companies had 107 meetings and all companies identified new future potential clients. This year the tour moved away from Stockholm and emphasised other life science clusters visiting:

  • Medicon Village in Lund

  • Sahlgrenska Science Park in Gothenburg

The tour started off in the newly formed Medicon Village in Lund where a number of Swedish companies gave presentations on the types of collaboration that they are looking for and explained their pipeline development to the 23 British delegates.

Presentations were given by:

  • Cristina Glad (Bioinvent AB)

  • Åsa Sjöholm Timén (Spago Imaging AB)

  • Adam Bruce, founder of Tikomed

The round of presentations was followed by a series of 1-2-1 meetings. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) took the opportunity to advertise opportunities for clinical research in the UK via the NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure. (NOCRI). Ravi Chana of NOCRI gave a presentation on the help on offer for both Swedish and UK companies.

The tour then continued on to Gothenburg where the UK delegates had the opportunity to engage with the Swedish companies over dinner. Lars Wiklund, the British Honorary Consul, hosted an exclusive dinner at the Royal Bachelors Club. The evening saw lively discussions take place on a range of topics including:

  • the future of outsourcing

  • the role of governments and the public sector in promoting innovation

  • patents and pricing structure

The dinner was an excellent opportunity for the UK delegates to encourage Swedish companies to perform clinical trials in the UK and partner up with UK companies to initiate joint R&D in the UK.

On the final day, the UK delegation met with companies from the Sahlgrenska Science Park network. Mattias Rehnberg (AstraZeneca R&D) highlighted the outsourcing needs that are experienced by large pharma companies. There were also presentations by:

  • Jan Holgersson (NovaHep)

  • Mats Wallström (Lavivo)

  • Henrik Elofsson (Immunicum)

The afternoon saw a series of 1-2-1 meetings with handpicked companies from the Sahlgrenska Science Park cluster, which created new business connections.

Feedback from delegates

Heidi Pavliska from Aptuit commented on the tour:

I was very impressed with the high level of organisation and the rich attendee landscape. Aptuit is dedicated to expanding the company’s presence in the Scandinavian life sciences industry, and this event provided an excellent opportunity for us to increase our exposure in this market. The value of the event was unbelievable….plus we had fun!

Margit Wissenbach from Huntingdon Life Sciences added:

combining the tour with 2 regional visits was excellent - the tour created several new opportunities for Huntingdon Life Science to strengthen our position in Sweden


This was the fifth consecutive year that the R&D drug development tour was organised by UKT’s team in Sweden. This was a milestone for UKTI Sweden’s R&D and innovation campaign.

The tour took place at the same time as the Park Annual Life Science Conference. This gave the UK delegates the opportunity to meet with 350 life science companies from all over Sweden.

2014 drug development tour

The next event will take place 10-11 September 2014.


UK drug development companies looking to do business in the Swedish market should contact:

Christina Bergstrand, Head Nordic Life Science & Healthcare, UKTI Sweden Tel: +46 (0)8-6713065

Published 29 November 2013