Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology


Dec 1, 2012 (4 years and 4 months ago)


Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
Excellence in all steps of drug discovery and development

Official name

The Kingdom of Sweden
Political system

Constitutional Monarchy
Head of State

King Carl XVI Gustaf
Central government

Center-right majority

government, ruling since

the election in 2006.

General elections are held
every four years.
Prime Minister

Fredrik Reinfeldt

9.1 million
Population density

22 per sq. km

450,000 sq. km

(174,000 sq. mi)
Time zone

GMT + 1 hour
GDP per capita

SEK 295,000

(€ 31,800/US$ 39,500)
Exchange rates

SEK 1 = € 0.11

SEK 1 = US$ 0.14

1 krona = 100 öre
Largest cities


Stockholm (1,860,430)

Göteborg (885,700)

Malmö (553,726)
key facts sweden


to Sweden!


Drug discovery and development
8 Metabolic/cardiovascular diseases

10 Neuroscience

edical engineering
14 Biotech tools

15 Medical devices

16 Biomaterials

17 Regenerative medicine

Biopharmaceutical production

Biotech regions

Sweden for clinical trials

Venture capital infrastructure

The Swedish economy

Photo by Lennart Nilsson,

see presentation on page 32.

A European leader in life sciences
Sweden’s pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industry offers a wide range of invest
ment opportunities, including in-licensing, collaboration and direct investment.

Firms cover the entire value chain, with particular strengths in drug discovery and

development, medical engineering and biopharmaceutical production.
Highly evolved life science industry
With more than 40,000 employees and over 800 companies, Sweden’s
life science industry is one of Europe’s finest. A century-long tradition
in medical research and development has laid the foundation to the
current successes and efforts. This publication provides an overview

of the major industry segments, the largest centers of industrial and

academic activity and Sweden’s capabilities in clinical trials. It con
cludes with a description of the infrastructure for supporting and

financing company creation and growth.
Focus on translational and interdisciplinary research
Swedish research has long since emphasized the need to be close to

patients and basic research activities are often integrated with clinical
research, a major advantage in the development of new therapies and
treatments. Research objectives are often approached holistically, by
bringing together a wide range of disciplines and expertise to solve
complex problems.
Excellence in major research and industry fields
Sweden’s strengths cover a surprisingly large share of the relevant bio-
technology fields, given the 9-million population. A survey comparing
biomedical research productivity in the US and European Union places
Sweden first in four out of five categories measuring citations and pub
lications in relation to population and R&D expenditure (see graph to
the left). Sweden is home to Karolinska Institutet, widely regarded as
one of the world’s leading biomedical universities, the committees re
sponsible for awarding the Nobel Prize as well as two of Europe’s most
distinguished biotech clusters – the Stockholm Uppsala Bioregion and
Medicon Valley in Malmö/Lund/Copenhagen.
Close collaboration industry/academia
University/industry cooperation has been fundamental to the growth
of the Swedish life science industry, and these interactions have long
Biomedical research productivity
Scientific paper citations per 1,000 population
ISA compilation based on data from Ernst & Young
Global Biotechnology Report 2007, OECD and the World Bank
For years, Sweden has ranked among the world’s
most research-intensive countries, as measured by
the number of scientific paper citations per capita.
Eastern Mid-Sweden
Île de France, France
Southern Sweden
Braunschweig, Germany
Stuttgart, Germany
Karlsruhe, Germany
Etelä-Suomi, Finland
Oberbayern, Germany
est Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden
Europe’s most innovative regions
Results from European Innovation Scoreboard 2006
European Commission, 2007
The European Innovation Scoreboard measures
overall innovation performance in Europe, in five
key dimensions of innovation performance. 203
distinct regions were included in the survey.

since been a natural part of the development process. Excellent aca
demic research and industry-applied development continues to drive
biomedical industry growth in Sweden.
Everybody within easy reach
Research and industrial activities are concentrated to Sweden’s three
largest cities and a number of university cities, connected by efficient
road, rail and air links. Distances are short, facilitating cross-collabo
ration between firms and research groups. Business runs smoothly,
thanks to informal business cultures and an absence of hierarchies.
Great business and R&D environment
Choosing Sweden makes sense from most perspectives. This is a coun
try accustomed to international business operations – exports account
for nearly 50 percent of GDP. Moreover, Sweden regularly tops rank
ings of the world’s most competitive countries. Everybody speaks Eng
lish and the regulatory environment is easy to operate in, with great
transparency and predictability. All of the world’s best-selling drugs,
both traditional chemical substances as well as biopharmaceutical
drugs, have been tested on Swedish patients.
Competitive cost location
Sweden is cost-competitive both for research intensive and large-scale
advanced manufacturing activities, as evidenced by a range of recent
expansion investments. Salary levels for life science personnel are sig
nificantly lower than in the UK and Germany, for example.
Stronger than ever before
There has never been a better time to invest in Swedish biotechnology.
Many companies are making great progress, either on the market with
their own products, in out-licensing activities or in late stage develop
ment. A string of recent investments by international life science com
panies points to Sweden’s competitiveness.
Global licensing partners
A selection of companies that have

in-licensed projects from Swedish firms
Amgen (US)
Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany)
Bristol-Myers Squibb (US)
Chelsea Therapeutics (US)
Eisai (Japan)
Endo Pharmaceuticals (US)
Epiphany Biosciences (US)
Genentech (US)
GlaxoSmithKline (UK)
Guangdong Lantai Viewland (China)
Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine (China)
Kyowa Hakko (Japan)
MediGene (Germany)
Merck (US)
Presidio Pharmaceuticals (US)
ProStrakan (UK)
Radius (US)
Roche (Switzerland)
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (Israel)
ThromboGenics (Belgium)
Tibotec (Belgium)
Wyeth (US)
Invest in Sweden Agency, 2007
Swedish drug development companies have been involved
in biopharmaceutical drug development for decades. Gen
otropin™, launched in 1987 and the world’s best selling
human growth hormone, was developed by Swedish Kabi
Vitrum together with Genentech.
Today, companies such as Active Biotech, Biovitrum,
Karo Bio, Medivir and Orexo uphold Sweden’s position in
biopharmaceutical drug development. Biovitrum, with
more than 500 employees, is one
of Europe’s largest bio
tech companies. The four other firms all have very promis
ing drug candidates pending drug registration or in phase
III clinical trials.
Strong product pipeline
By early 2007, a total of 169 projects were under develop
ment at 51 companies, according to an annual analysis of
Sweden’s clinical development pipeline published by Invest
in Sweden Agency, the industry association Sweden Bio
and Vinnova, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Inno
vation Systems.
The 110 projects under development at biotech firms are
fairly evenly split between development stages. Some 40
percent of projects are in clinical trials phases II and III,
while 60 percent of projects are either in clinical trials phase
I or in the late pre-clinical phase. 59 projects belonged to
the pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca, which has a
strong research presence in Sweden. Some 40 percent of the
company’s global R&D workforce is based here.
Manifestation of research quality
Using Sweden as a source for innovative drug discovery and
development is popular. Over 30 global pharmaceutical and
biotech companies today capitalize on Sweden for in-licens
ing, clinical research or partnerships with academic research
institutions. A third of the projects surveyed above have been
out-licensed to Big Pharma, smaller pharmaceutical compa
nies or other biotechnology firms. Recent announcements
include BioInvent’s collaboration with Genentech on the
antibody candidate BI-204, for the potential treatment of
multiple cardiovascular conditions, and Medivir’s out-

licensing to Bristol-Myers Squibb of its MIV-170 candidate
for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults.
Recognized for research excellence
Swedish universities are the source of many new drug

targets. Many companies have been founded around com
pounds discovered in academia, and there are also strong
collaborative ties with the industry.
Sweden’s academic superstar is Karolinska Institutet,
which was preceded only by Harvard, Cambridge and

Oxford in a ranking of the world’s best biomedical univer
sities (published by the The Times Higher Education Sup
plement). Karolinska Institutet accounts for 30 percent of
the medical training and 40 percent of the medical aca
169 projects in Sweden’s biotech pipeline
Some 80 Swedish biotech firms are involved

in drug discovery and development. They
have a broad research focus, with the largest
number of drug candidates in cancer-related
conditions, metabolic/cardiovascular disor
ders and neurological disorders.
drug discovery and development

• High quality of drug pipeline

Larger biotech companies combine out-licensing

and in-licensing
• Some 50 projects currently available for licensing
• Strong history in biopharmaceutical drug development
key features
drug discovery and development

Biotech industr
3 CT
2 CT

1 CT
Late pre-
clinical phase
Swedish biotech pipeline
Number of projects in late pre-clinical

or clinical trials phase
Biotech industry
1) < 12 months to clinical trials (CT)
AstraZeneca projects include all products in pre-clinical
phase, not only in late stage.
Invest in Sweden Agency, SwedenBio, Vinnova, 2007
A survey performed early 2007 shows Sweden has
169 projects in late pre-clinical development and in
clinical trials. Excluding AstraZeneca, biotech firms
had 110 projects in development.
Pipeline by therapeutic category
Total no. of projects: 110, excluding

AstraZeneca projects
Sweden’s biotech firms are principally focused on therapeutic categories of large unmet
patient needs. 39 percent of projects originate from collaborations with academia.

61 percent of projects are small molecules.
Out-licensing agreements by Swedish biotech companies
A selection
Company Partner Drug candidate/research field Principal indication
Active Biotech
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (Israel) Laquinimod Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
MediGene (Germany) RhuDex Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Chelsea Therapeutics (US) I-3D Autoimmune diseases and transplant rejection
BioArctic Neuroscience
Eisai (Japan) BAN 2401 Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
ThromboGenics (Belgium) TB-402 Thrombosis
Genentech (US) BI-204 Atherosclerosis
ThromboGenics (Belgium) TB-403 Cancer
Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany) Selective PGE2 inhibitor Treatment of pain and inflammation
Amgen (US) 11B-HSD1 Diabetes
GlaxoSmithKline (UK) 5-HT2C Obesity
Karo Bio
Merck (US) Estrogen receptors Several diseases in the field of women’s health
Wyeth (US) Liver X receptor Atherosclerosis
Radius (US) Selective androgen receptor modulators Osteoporosis
Tibotec (Belgium) HCV-PI Hepatitis C
Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine (China) MMP Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Tibotec (Belgium) HIV PI Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Roche (Switzerland) HCV POL Hepatitis C
Epiphany Biosciences (US) MIV-606 Shingles, herpesvirus
Presidio Pharmaceuticals (US) MIV-310, MIV-410 HIV, Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Tibotec (Belgium) MIV-210 Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Bristol-Myers Squibb (US) MIV-170 Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Guangdong Lantai Viewland (China) MIV-160 Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Endo Pharmaceuticals (US),
Rapinyl™ Treatment of acute pain in cancer patients
ProStrakan (UK), Kyowa Hakko (Japan)
Invest in Sweden Agency, 2007
n relie


Including cardiovascular disease and digestive disorders
Invest in Sweden Agency,

SwedenBio, Vinnova, 2007
demic research in Sweden. It has also been named one of
the world’s best academic workplaces.
Other Swedish universities with important activities

in biomedicine include Uppsala University and Lund Uni
versity, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stock
holm and Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg.
Strong research is also carried out at the Sahlgrenska
Academy at Göteborg University, and at the Umeå and
Linköping universities.
Century-long tradition in drug development
Explaining how Sweden, a country of 9 million inhabit
ants, has been able to build a biotech industry which in
size is only outranked by countries like Germany and the
UK requires a look in the rearview mirror.
For much of the 20th century, Sweden was home to two
leading pharmaceutical companies, Astra and Pharmacia.
These two, now part of AstraZeneca and Pfizer, have been
instrumental in Sweden’s achievements in drug develop
ment. Drugs developed in Sweden include Crestor, Detrol/
Detrusitol, Fragmin, Genotropin, Losec/Prilosec, Nexium,
Plendil, Pulmicort, Seloken Zoc/Toprol, Xalatan and

The Swedish healthcare system has also been a catalyst
in drug development. At an early stage, Sweden built an
advanced healthcare system, open to trying new technolo
gies and treatments. This has stimulated, and continues to
drive, product development in all parts of the industry.
Sweden’s life science sector comprises both innovative
biotech companies, large pharmaceuticals companies and
medical device manufacturers such as Elekta, Gambro,
Getinge (Maquet) and Mölnlycke Health Care. Astra
Zeneca’s Gärtuna site south of Stockholm is the world’s
largest tablet manufacturing plant.
Pharmacia’s activities in Sweden has gradually been

dismantled, leading to the creation of several biotech firms:
Biacore, a supplier of systems for protein interaction ana-
lysis (acquired by GE Healthcare in 2006); Biovitrum,

and Phadia, a leader in allergy diagnostics. Pharmacia’s
biotech division Pharmacia Biotech, active in protein sepa-
rations and discovery systems, evolved into Amersham

Biosciences (acquired by GE Healthcare in 2004). The
number of biotech employees in Uppsala is today higher
than ever before.
Integrated biopharma companies
To date, the business model of many Swedish drug devel
opers has principally relied on out-licensing. Whilst this is
still the case, a clear trend today is for companies, particu
larly the larger ones, to work to become fully integrated

biopharmaceutical companies. This is normally done as a
complement to out-licensing activities and primarily with
a focus on the Nordic countries.
As a result, in-licensing by Swedish firms has become
more frequent. BioInvent, Biovitrum, Karo Bio and Medivir
are some examples of this approach. Biovitrum collaborates
with Boston-based Syntonix around long-acting recom
binant factor IX (FIXFc) for the treatment of hemophilia B,
with Danish Symphogen in the haematology field and with
Sweden’s Synphora on the treatment of psoriasis.
drug discovery and development

Level of out-licensing
Total no. of projects: 110, excluding

AstraZeneca projects

No partner currently 44%
Big Pharma or other partner 32%
Not disclosed 24%
Invest in Sweden Agency, SwedenBio, Vinnova, 2007
Of 110 projects surveyed, 32 percent had been out-licensed.

44 percent of the projects were available for partnering.
Origin of biotech drugs
Total no. of projects: 110, excluding

AstraZeneca projects

Internal 38%
Academia 25%
Other company 23%
Internal & academia 14%
Invest in Sweden Agency, SwedenBio, Vinnova, 2007
Most biotech drug projects originate from internal research or
from collaborations with academia. In all, 39 percent of the com
pounds originate at least in part from academia.
“ Sweden has created an excellent environment to cultivate
new companies in pursuit of innovative products that better
diagnose and treat signifi cant unmet medical needs. There’s
a rich history in life sciences – Sweden’s academic institu-
tions have fostered some of the very early and basic discov-
eries in life sciences and emerging biopharmaceutical and
diagnostic companies have grown into global players.”
Nicholas J. Simon, Managing Director, Clarus Ventures
drug discovery and development
Metabolic/cardiovascular diseases

Sweden is a world-leading authority in diabetes, obesity,
insulin resistance and atherosclerosis research. These

indications are in focus for many biotech firms, and
have resulted in some of the largest out-licensing deals.
Changes in human behaviors and lifestyles over the last
century have resulted in a dramatic rise in obesity and type
II diabetes worldwide. No longer are these distinct diseas
es in themselves, but usually manifestations of a much
broader underlying disorder – the metabolic syndrome.
This is characterized by a combination of a number of risk
factors for myocardial infarction and stroke, including
obesity, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, type II

diabetes, and changes in blood lipids. A Swedish research
er, Prof. Per Björntorp, was the first to define important

indications of the metabolic syndrome and also the one to
coin the term.
Focus for many Swedish biotech firms
Metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease and digestive
disorders today account for nearly 20 percent of the drug
development pipeline at Swedish biotechnology firms.
Major development is also performed at AstraZeneca,
whose global R&D headquarters for cardiovascular and
gastrointestinal research is located at the Mölndal site in
Göteborg. Some of Sweden’s largest biotech companies,
including Biovitrum and Karo Bio, are active in these
fields. Karo Bio’ collaboration with Wyeth Pharmaceuti
cals is aimed at new treatments of atherosclerosis with

the liver X receptor (LXR) as target.
Strong scientific asset base
Swedish researchers in diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance
and atherosclerosis are recognized among the world’s fore
most in their disciplines, a position that has been upheld
for decades. The strongest research nodes are Karolinska
Institutet in Stockholm, Lund University in Lund and Sahl
grenska Academy in Göteborg. The universities in Linköp-
ing and Umeå are other sources of strong academic research.
Diabetes Program at Lund University
The Diabetes Program at Lund University, a coordinated
research program with some 20 research groups and well
over 100 researchers, is one of Europe’s finest, according
to a study by the Boston Consulting Group. Researchers
here include Prof. Åke Lernmark, a world-renowned dia
betes researcher and discoverer of GAD (Glutamic Acid
Decarboxylase) antibodies, Prof. Bo Ahren, Prof. Leif
Groop and Prof. Jan Nilsson. The research ranges from
the molecular and pre-clinical to the bedside and clinical.
It spans from the fundamental cell biology of insulin-

producing and -responsive cells to the everyday clinical
problems of metabolic control and late-complications.

Research efforts are supported by the Juvenile Diabetes
Research Foundation, among others. In early 2007, Lund
researchers together with Novartis and the Broad Insti
tute, announced the completion of a genome-wide map of
genetic differences in humans and their relationship to
type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
Lund is also home to a strong stem cell research program.
Scientists led by Prof. Henrik Semb have found a process
to help turn human embryonic stem cells into the types of
specialized cells that have the potential to become treat
ments for people with type 1 diabetes.
Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research Center in Göteborg
The city of Göteborg, with its Sahlgrenska Academy, is a
leading center for research into metabolic diseases. The late
drug discovery and development

metabolic /cardiovascular diseases
Selected companies

– Metabolic / cardiovascular diseases
Company Website
Active Biotech
Creative Peptides
Diamyd Medical
Glucox Biotech
Karo Bio
drug discovery and development

metabolic /cardiovascular diseases
Prof. Per Björntorp was based in Göteborg and introduced
experimental methodology into the field. Today, research
ers such as Prof. Jan Borén and Prof. Sven Enerbäck are
working to ensure that Göteborg maintains its leading posi
tion. Prof. Borén leads the Sahlgrenska Center for Cardio
vascular and Metabolic Research, a national strategic re
search center with nearly 150 staff members. Partnerships

between clinical and basic medical sciences, bioinformatics
and applied mathematics are set to yield new discoveries.
Prof. Lars Sjöström, recognized as the principal investi-
gator of the Swedish Obese Subjects intervention study is
another Göteborg-based authority. More
over, Göteborg-based researchers
are coordinators of large EU-
sponsored projects (EU
GENE2 – Prof. Ulf Smith;
“Identification of new
drug targets for the treat
ment of obesity and diabe
tes” – Prof. Suzanne Dickson).
Strengths in diabetes in Stockholm and Uppsala
The Diabetes Center at Karolinska Institutet, comprising
the Rolf Luft laboratory and led by Prof Kerstin Brismar
and Prof. Per-Olof Berggren, is home to some 200 research
ers. Noted Karolinska researchers include Prof. Jan-Åke
Gustafsson, a pioneer in the field of molecular nutrition
and Prof. Suad Efendic, a recognized diabetes researcher.
Prof. Bo Angelin and Prof. Stephan Rössner are authorities
on obesity.
A team led by Prof. Olle Korsgren at the Uppsala Uni
versity is among the recipients of a USD 75 million NIH
grant to conduct studies of islet transplantation in patients
with type I diabetes. The five-year program, announced in
2004, involves five centers in the US, Canada and Sweden.
Clinical trials is coordinated by the Swedish research team
and performed on patients in Sweden, Denmark, Finland
and Norway.
Suited to advance complex disorders
Sweden is thus well placed to advance treatments of life
style diseases. The quality of research is very high and it
covers the entire spectrum, from understanding diseases
at the molecular level or via molecular genetics, to tradi
tional epidemiology.
Initiative in chronic
Chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatic diseases,
multiple sclerosis and psoriasis are the source of large
unmet patient need and high costs to society. Efficient

therapies have been lacking for a long time.
However, new knowledge about the innate and acquired
immune systems and how these systems are affected by
genetic and other factors means the scope for new treat
ment is better than ever before.
Sweden possesses particular prerequisites to take a
leading position in such a development, including strong
research in a range of relevant fields, good cooperation from
lab to clinic and an ability to perform high quality longitudi
nal studies. Unique experimental animal research models
can be combined with biobanks and patient databases.
A national research initiative now brings together
Sweden’s collected expertise to develop new treatments in
this important field. The program, labeled “Chronic Inflam
mation”, builds on inter-disciplinary research and coordina
tion between clinical, epidemiological and biotechnological
academic research, the biotech industry and the health
care system – much along the lines already established by
its sponsors for the Swedish Brain Power program. The pro
gram is currently in the final application stage, where invi
ted applicants are working to submit their formal proposal.
More information can be found on the Vinnova web site,
one of the sponsors.

chronic inflammation
Swedish diabetes,

obesity and metabolic
syndrome researchers

are among the best in

their disciplines.

The field of neuroscience is one of Sweden’s finest. Of
thirty-one Nobel Prizes that have honored advances in
neurosciences, Swedes have received five. AstraZeneca’s
site in Södertälje is one of two global neuroscience

R&D sites.
Swedish neuroscientists are leaders in several key disci
plines, including epidemiology, genetics and neurogeriat
rics. One of the strongest fields is in molecular neurobiol
ogy, including stem cells, neuron transplantation and
developmental biology.
Swedish researchers unravel neural cell manufacturing
Many of Sweden’s achievements have scope for direct clin
ical applications, such as discoveries related to the origin
and repair of nerve cell damage following stroke and spinal
cord injury, as well as research into major degenerative
diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Swedish researchers have also discovered the mechanism
for how the brain manufactures fresh cells. Scientists led

by Prof. Peter Eriksson at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Göte
borg have discovered how stem cells produced in a “nurs
ery” deep inside the brain migrate into other parts of the
brain, maturing into nerve cells on the way. The findings
were the cover story in Science magazine in March 2007.
Company activity
The quality of Sweden’s commercial research has been
manifested in a number of ways. One example is the 2006
acquisition of Göteborg-based Carlsson Research by Den
mark’s NeuroSearch for a total consideration of SEK 875
million (€ 97/US$ 125 million). BioArctic Neuroscience

is another. BioArctic has a strategic research collabora
tion with Eisai, the Japanese pharmaceutical company
whose product Aricept is the world’s most prescribed
Alzheimer’s drug.
Moreover, AstraZeneca’s global center of excellence

in neurology is located in Södertälje, south of Stockholm.
Over 300 scientists from more than 30 countries are de
voted to research on various neurological diseases, includ
ing Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis as well as
neuropathic pain and nociceptive pain.
Strengths across the spectrum
In addition to covering the most relevant neuroscience
fields, Sweden’s research strengths include related areas
such as behavioral research, bio-informatics, imaging
technology, health care research and learning and cogni
tion. Sweden offers particular advantages for projects that
seek to understand the causes of neurological disorders
and for the development of diagnostics tools and treat
ment methods.
Research activities are largely human-based, with many
projects addressing both basic and clinical research issues.
The most prominent medical research institutions are
Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sahlgrenska Academy
in Göteborg and Lund University.
Neuroscience in focus for Karolinska research
Some 20 percent of research activities at Karolinska Insti
tutet is devoted to neurology. The Center of Excellence in
Developmental Biology is a strategic research center that
coordinates nine research groups from three institutions,
focused on the cornerstones for regenerative medicine. One
recent breakthrough is the identification of two genes which
control the development of dopaminergic nerve cells, a
promising discovery for Parkinson’s disease therapy.
The Stockholm Brain Institute is a collaboration be
tween Karolinska Institutet, the Royal Institute of Tech
nology and Stockholm University. Research is focused on
learning and memory, on language acquisition, on pain
drug discovery and development
Selected companies – Neuroscience
Company Website
BioArctic Neuroscience
NeuroSearch Sweden
Umecrine Cognition
Umecrine Mood
drug discovery and development

control and on motor actions. Karolinska is also home to
OECD’s INCF (International Neuroinformatics Coordi-
nating Facility) secretariat. Its governing board is chaired
by Prof. Sten Grillner.
Researchers at Karolinska’s Alzheimer Research Cent-
er, one of Europe’s largest, investigate the mechanisms be-
hind Alzheimer’s disease, emphasizing the integration of
basic neuroscience, clinical research, molecular genetics
and epidemiology. The Center is headed by Prof. Bengt
Winblad, one of the world’s leading Alzheimer research-
ers. Prof. Winblad also heads the Swedish Brain Power
program, see case above.
Outsourced clinical drug research facility for DSP
The Karolinska Institutet Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals
Alzheimer Center (KASPAC) is believed to be the fi rst
joint venture in Europe involving the outsourcing of a
specifi c clinical drug research capability.
The collaboration with Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma
(DSP) targets new treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease and
was formed in 2000. DSP reviewed research centers in
four countries before settling on Sweden and Karolinska
Nobel Prize to Göteborg-based scientist
Sahlgrenska Academy has a strong track-record in neuro-
science, beginning with Prof. Arvid Carlsson’s ground-
breaking research on dopamine, awarded the Nobel Prize
in 2000. Psychopharmacology remains one of Göteborg’s
strongest neuroscience fi elds, together with Alzheimer re-
search (Prof. Kaj Blennow) and neurological stem cell re-
search (Prof. Peter Eriksson). Substantial research is also
devoted to drug addiction, primarily alcohol abuse (Prof.
Jörgen Engel).
Lund – success in modeling and translational research
Some 200 Lund researchers explore mechanisms of neuro-
degeneration, plasticity and maladaptive plasticity in ani-
mal and cell models of disorders such as Parkinson’s, Hunt-
ington’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as stroke, epilepsy and
depression. This knowledge is used to devise novel thera-
peutic strategies based on neuroprotection, cell replace-
ment, gene therapy and stimulation of endogenous regener-
ative mechanisms. Lund researchers have been particularly
successful in disease modeling and translational research.
Strong research groups have been created around the nes-
tors Prof. Anders Björklund and Prof. Olle Lindvall.
Swedish Brain Power: Truly inter-disciplinary research effort

swedish brainpower
The Swedish Brain Power program brings
together 73 research groups at Sweden’s
leading medical universities and university
hospitals. The effort is sponsored by seve-
ral of Sweden’s largest public and private
research foundations. Key objectives
include the development of methods for
early-stage identifi cation of neurodegene-
rative diseases and new drugs or other tre-
atments in the very early stages of the
disease. Researchers and research groups
are organized in 13 core facilities, grouped
in three platforms: clinical/epidemiological
research; care research/rehabilitation/neu-
ropsychology; and basic research.
Primary Care,
Health Economics
Interaction and
Information Technology
Care Research,
Housing Environment
Epidemiology Research
Clinical and Therapeutic Research
Clinical Trial Center
Structural & Functional
Brain Imaging
Pre-clinical Research,
Transgenic Models
Ethics, Education,
Knowledge Dissemination
Database, Biostatistics
drug discovery and development

“ Sweden is a great place to access exciting novel
technology. The country’s mix of academic
research excellence, capital availability and
entrepreneurial drive make it a signifi cant player
in the European biotechnology industry.”
Tim Haines, Partner, Abingworth
medical engineering

Biomedical engineering entails a broad spectrum of disci
plines. The breakdown in this review covers the following
industry sectors: biotech tools, medical devices (including
diagnostics), biomaterials and regenerative medicine.
Swedish engineering excellence
Few countries, if any, can boast such a density of advanced

engineering know-how in fields relevant to the development
of new drugs, treatments and diagnostics. This is a result
of Sweden having both a diverse life science industry,
spanning the biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical
technology field, as well as being the home to a number of
world-leading industrial engineering companies. Sweden’s
capacity for scientific and business innovation has been
evidenced by numerous international studies.
From filtration chromatography to cell transplantation
Sweden’s innovation track-record dates to the 1950s and
1960s, when products such as the implantable pacemaker,
the artificial kidney and the radiating-beam surgery knife
were introduced, and span from biocompatible prostheses
and medical devices to diagnostics technologies and sepa
ration media. Today, groundbreaking Swedish work into
stem cell research and cell transplantation paves the way
for treatment technologies in regenerative medicine.
Companies range from multinational leaders such as
Elekta, Gambro and Phadia in the biomedical device and
diagnostics fields to emerging firms like Absorber and Cel
lartis in regenerative medicine.
Large cutting-edge research efforts underway
Corporate development is complemented by several large-
scale research projects. One example is the Swedish

Human Protein Atlas program, which has been set up to
allow for a systematic exploration of the human proteome
using antibody-based proteomics.

Diversified medical engineering sector
Sweden’s biomedical engineering companies
bring out the best of the country’s multidisc
plinary expertise and strength in complex

research and development. Many have built
internationally leading positions on their

• Solid track-record of innovation
• Corporate leaders in both established and emerging sectors
• Large cutting-edge research efforts underway
key features

European Innovation Scoreboard, European Commission, 2007
The index portrays aggregate national innovation performance,
measuring inter alia structural conditions required for innova
tion potential, investments in R&D activities and innovation out
put in terms of patenting and value added in industry.
Most innovative countries
Innovation index 2006

Biotech tools
Over 60 Swedish biotech firms develop products and serv
ices used in biopharmaceutical research and development,
production and processes. Examples include equipment for
bioseparation, biomolecular analysis and bioinformatics.
Most of the larger companies are based in Uppsala, a result
of this city’s particular biotech tools industry tradition.
Other important locations include Stockholm, Göteborg
and Umeå.
A leader in protein separation
Sweden’s achievements in protein separation span decades
and have to date yielded two Nobel Prizes and numerous
successful products. The success of chromatography as

a technique for separating biomolecules is linked to the

introduction of the gel filtration medium Sephadex™ by
Sweden’s Pharmacia in 1959, one of the most significant
advances ever made in biochemistry.
It also signaled the start of strong commercial develop
ment, with Pharmacia introducing products such as the
FPLC™ System and the ÄKTA™ chromatography system
platform. Today, the chromatography business begun by
Pharmacia is part of GE Healthcare and the products are
used to purify the vast majority of all FDA-approved bio-
pharmaceuticals. GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ global
headquarters is located in Uppsala. Its
Swedish presence was strengthened

by the 2006 acquisition of

Biacore, a provider of pro
tein interaction analysis.
Strong research capabilities
Important academic centers for bio
tech tools development include Royal
Institute of Technology (KTH) in
Stockholm, Chalmers Institute of
Technology in Göteborg and the universities in Linköping,
Lund and Uppsala.
The Swegene and Wallenberg Consortium North re
search programs, with substantial resource investments,
have resulted in the development of advanced genomics
technology platforms, today forming important corner
stones for research efforts such as the CREATE Health
center of excellence in Lund.
The center for advanced molecular analysis in Uppsala,
led by Prof. Ulf Landegren, has pioneered a number of im
portant molecular techniques, including the oligonucleotide
ligation assay (OLA) and the proximity ligation technique
for highly specific protein analyses. Prof. Landegren is the
coordinator of the EU project MolTools, which aims to pro
mote the development and implementations of advanced

molecular tools for array-based analyses of genomes.
Origin of Human Protein Atlas
In proteomics, Sweden hosts the Human Proteome Resource
(HPR) program, a large-scale research project set up to
generate antibodies to all non-redundant human proteins.
The second major release included more than 1,500 anti
bodies and 1,000,000 images. The program has resulted
in the establishment of both a new research center (the

AlbaNova VINNEX Center for Protein technology) and

a spin-off company (Atlas Antibodies).
medical engineering
biotech tools

Selected companies – Biotech tools
Company Website
Alligator Bioscience
Biosensor Applications
GE Healthcare
Sidec Technologies
A strong heritage of scientific innovation and industrial
success characterize Sweden’s biotech tools sector.

GE Healthcare Life Sciences, which has more than
1,400 employees in Sweden, leads its global business
from Uppsala.
ÄKTA process

GE Healthcare Life Sciences
medical engineering
medical devices

Medical devices
Sweden has been the source for ground-breaking medical
device inventions for a long time, beginning with the im
plantable pacemaker and the artificial kidney and includ
ing discoveries in clinical nutrition, diagnostics, kidney di
alysis and wound care.
The largest companies, with more than 500 employees
in Sweden, include Elekta (radiosurgery and radiation
therapy), Fresenius Kabi (infusion therapy and clinical

nutrition), Gambro (dialysis and cell therapy), Getinge
(medical equipment), Octapharma (plasma derivatives),
Phadia (diagnostics) and St Jude Medical (cardiovascular
device). Although Sweden is the origin of many companies
with global reach, its medtech phenomenon is built on a
platform of small and medium-sized enterprises.
A leader in imaging technology
The city of Linköping is Sweden’s foremost center for med
ical imaging technologies, with world leading research at
the university and several successful companies in the field,
including Sectra, ContextVision, Sapheneia and Swemac
Imaging as well as university spin-offs such as Synthetic
MR and Wheelsbridge. University research centers include
the Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization
(CMIV) and the Center for Non-Invasive Medical Meas
urements (NIMED). Of importance is the university’s ex
cellence in information technology – it hosts Sweden’s
largest computer and information science department.
E-health and point-of-care
Sweden’s strength in information and communications
technologies is a significant advantage as health care pro
viders seek to transfer certain care functions outside of the
hospital, into patients’ homes or to primary care units –
moves driven both by the need to reduce health care costs
but also to facilitate for patients. A national innovation
hotbed (“Hälsans Nya Verktyg”) has been established in
Linköping to develop new technologies, solutions and
products in this field. A number of development projects
are under way. The company Kiwok has developed the
BodyKom concept, which enables doctors and care per
sonnel to diagnose and monitor the ECG (electrocardio
gram) of heart patients via the mobile network. The sys
tem also works for high blood pressure and diabetes
patients. Ortivus is a healthcare IT company that offers

a range of products for prehospital care.
A history in diagnostics
Sweden is home to several successful diagnostics compa
nies. The largest is Phadia, a world leader in blood test sys
tems headquartered in Uppsala. Its history can be traced
to the discovery of IgE antibodies in the late 1960s and the
subsequent launch of a range of innovative diagnostics
products for allergy testing. Aerocrine, an asthma diag
nostics company, made its stock debut in 2007.
Several companies have foreign owners. Canag Diagnos
tics, a developer of immunological reagents
against biochemical disease markers, was
acquired by Fujirebio Diagnostics in 2006.
HemoCue, a manufacturer of diagnostic
products for point-of-care testing, was
acquired by Quest Diagnostics in 2007.
The Swedish medical device sector comprises over

400 companies, offering products ranging from plasma
derivatives and solutions for infusion therapy to biolog
ical wound care products, medical implants and diag
nostic tests.
NIOX MINO, airway inflammation

monitor from Aerocrine
Selected companies – Medical devices
Company Website
Astra Tech
Biomet Cementing Technologies
Bohus Biotech
CMA Microdialysis
Fresenius Kabi
Mölnlycke Health Care
Sangtec Molecular Diagnostics
St Jude Medical
Sweden’s biomaterials companies have leading international
positions in a number of fields, including hard tissue im
plants for dental, orthopaedic as well as ear, nose and throat
(ENT) applications, implant diagnostics and monitoring,
and wound care and implants for soft tissue applications.
Göteborg – the capital of biomaterials
The vast majority of companies are located in the Göteborg
region on the west coast of Sweden, a result of the particu
larly strong biomaterials research that has been carried out
at the Sahlgrenska Academy and Chalmers University of
Technology. Prof. Per-Ingvar Brånemark’s discovery of

titanium’s ability to integrate with bone tissue spawned
dynamic applied research activities, primarily in the load-
bearing capacity of implants. During the 1960s and 1970s
his laboratory was a hotspot of experimental research,
and many current professors began their careers there.
Prof. Brånemark’s invention is commercialized by the
Swiss/ Swedish company Nobel Biocare, a leading dental
implant maker with headquarters in Göteborg. In all, the
Göteborg cluster comprises some 20 companies, including
AstraTech, Mölnlycke Health Care Group and Entific.
The latter, a leading hearing implants company, was

acquired by Cochlear in 2005.
Excellence in research and clinical activities
Göteborg’s research expertise covers all relevant fields,
from clinical product development, implant surgery to

basic medical and technological research. University re
searchers and specialists
at the Sahlgrenska Univer
sity Hospital have con
tributed to the develop
ment of the first
bone-anchored dental im
plant and the first bone-anchored hearing aid implant sys
tem, both in clinical development and surgical practice.
New materials, modification of materials and characteri
zation of materials are other Göteborg specialties. Prof.
Bengt Kasemo at Chalmers is a leading researcher in
nano-scale surface phenomena and properties and a co-
founder of Q-Sense, a developer of research instruments
based on surface analysis technology.
Important biomaterials research is also conducted at at
Uppsala University’s Ångström Laboratory. Researchers
such as Leif Hermansson and Håkan Engqvist have made
important discoveries related to injectable cements based
on chemically bonded ceramics technology. Both are also
active in the biomaterials company Doxa, founded by
Integration of biomaterials and cell therapy
A number of Swedish initiatives have been taken to capture
the opportunities from blending biomaterials and cell ther
apy research. The national strategic research center Biomat-
cell (the VINN Excellence Center for Biomaterials and Cell
Therapy) has been established in Göteborg to perform new
frontline research in collaboration with the industry.
The objective is to develop intelligent implants with
bio-active surfaces, to enable faster healing, to improve

integration or to stimulate tissue regeneration. The center
is headed by Prof. Peter Thomsen.
medical engineering

Selected companies – Biomaterials
Company Website
Bone Support
Integration Diagnostics
Mölnlycke Health Care
Nobel Biocare
Building on the discovery of osseointegration as a meth
od for attaching prostheses directly onto bone, Sweden
has developed a strong biomaterials industry. Innova
tive research takes place in the converging fields of bio
materials and cell therapy.
Nobel Guide, a surgical template for
dental implants from Nobel Biocare
Regenerative medicine
Some of the world’s most prominent stem cell researchers
are Swedish. Scientists like Prof. Anders Björklund and
Prof. Olle Lindvall at Lund University, Prof. Jonas Frisén
at Karolinska Institutet and Prof. Peter Eriksson at Sahlg
renska Academy in Göteborg have made important ad
vances in the field. Prof. Björklund pioneered fetal cell
transplants of dopaminergic neurons and Prof. Lindvall
and colleagues recently showed that the adult brain pro
duces new neurons in response to stroke.
Prof. Frisén’s research group was the first to identify
where adult stem cells are located in the brain and Prof.
Eriksson has recently discovered a new anatomical struc
ture for the transport of neural stem cells. Other authori
ties include Karolinska’s Prof. Outi Hovatta and Prof.

Urban Lendahl. The latter was placed fifth in the ranking
of Europe’s top 30 most cited authors in developmental

biology between 1999 and 2005.
Strategic research centers
In each of Sweden’s largest stem cell nodes – Stockholm,
Lund and Göteborg – large inter-disciplinary research
programs focused on stem cell therapies are underway.
The Stockholm-based Strategic Research Center in Devel
opmental Biology for Regenerative Medicine (DBRM) inte-
grate thirteen research groups and has launched a specific
translational research center for rapid transfer of new data
into the clinical setting.
The Lund Center for Stem Cell Biology and Cell

Therapy focuses on stem cell and developmental biology
of the central nervous and blood systems, based on its
well-established research programs in neural cell replace
ment therapies, hematopoietic stem cell biology and gene
therapy. With nearly 130 researchers, the center is one of
the largest of its kind.
Transplantation – a Swedish specialty
Sweden has substantial experience in stem cell transplan
tation and Swedish researchers have pioneered many of the
techniques in use today. The Center for Allogeneic Bone
Marrow Transplantation at Karolinska

University Hospital, headed by Prof. Olle
Ringdén, is one of Europe’s largest. Sig
nificant research is currently devoted to
transplantation techniques to treat neu
rological disorders. The newly formed
Neuronanoscience Research Center in
Lund seeks to develop new implants for
treatment of neurological disorders and
Leading stem cell companies
The first human embryonic stem cells
were cultured in Sweden in 2000 and
Sweden is today one of the largest
holders of commercially available stem cell lines. Compa
nies are primarily active in the licensing of these lines to
others, the proliferation and characterization of special
ized lines, and the commercialization of different media
that direct the cell differentiation. Cellartis, for example,
is the world’s single largest source of defined human em
bryonic stem cell lines. It has entered collaborations with
GE Healthcare, Invitrogen and NovaThera, among others.
Favorable legislation and bioethical climate
The prospect of major advances in disease treatment has
prompted Sweden to adopt an open-minded approach to
stem cell research. Sweden supports all areas of stem cell
research, including therapeutic cloning. Importantly, these
regulations have strong public support.
medical engineering
regenerative medicine
Selected companies – Regenerative medicine
Company Website
Cell Matrix
Gambro BCT
Numerous breakthroughs have been made by Swedish
scientists in the area of cell and tissue engineering and
cell transplantation. A Swedish company is the world’s
single largest source of defined human embryonic stem
cell lines.
VitroHES™, a stem cell
culture medium from Vitrolife
More than 20 companies and nearly 1,300 staff are

involved in commercial production of biopharmaceutical
substances in Sweden. These figures exclude manufacturing
staff at drug developers such as Biovitrum and BioInvent.
The largest node for biopharmaceutical manufacturing
is found along the Strängnäs-Stockholm-Uppsala axis.
Strängnäs, which in addition to the Pfizer site also hosts
manufacturing activities for DSM and Recip, is home to
the Biotechvalley initiative, which aims to strengthen Swe
den’s biomanufacturing capabilities (see case, page 19).
Other important biomanufacturing activities are found
in the Malmö/Lund region, with companies such as
Novozymes Biopharma and Polypeptide Laboratories.
Globally competitive location
Pfizer’s site in Strängnäs is one of the world’s largest bio-
manufacturing plants with about 260 employees, produc
ing active substances primarily of the growth hormone
Genotropin, but also of Fragmin, a low-molecular-weight
heparin. Moreover, the largest vaccine manufacturer in
the Nordic countries, SBL Vaccines (purchased by Crucell
in 2006) is based in Sweden.
Recent investments show Sweden is well-positioned to
attract new ultra-modern biotechnology plants. In 2005,
Pfizer choose Sweden over ten other possible sites for a
new facility. Up to US$ 150 million will be invested in the
new plant, which is to be set up adjacent to the existing
one in Strängnäs and will be fully operational by 2009.
In 2006, the Chinese pharmaceutical company Shang
hai Dongbao Biopharmaceutical chose Sweden as the site
for its first foreign subsidiary, taking over a manufactur
ing facility in Malmö from Ferring, the Swiss pharmaceu
tical company. Activities are pursued under the name

Rechon Life Science. As mentioned, Sweden is also home
to the world’s largest tablet manufacturing plant, Astra
Zeneca’s Gärtuna site south of Stockholm.
Choice location for biomanufacturing
Sweden is home to one of the world’s largest
facilities for biotechnological manufacturing,
the Pfizer site in Strängnäs. Sweden offers ex
tensive manufacturing know-how, good skills
supply and a cost-efficient base for operations.
• Knowledgeable engineers in all relevant areas
• Proximity to leading biopharma drug development clusters
• Cost-efficient, great logistics capabilities
key features

biopharmaceutical production
Selected companies – Biopharmaceutical production
Company Website
DSM Anti-Infectives
Novozymes Biopharma
Pfizer Health
Polypeptide Laboratories
Protista AB
Rechon Life Science
SBL Vaccines
Scandinavian Gene Synthesis

biopharmaceutical production

Good knowledge base
There is a substantial talent pool of skilled process opera
tors, quality control staff and process development scien
tists available in Sweden. Many are used to working in a
development environment.
Some 900 students are examined annually from mas
ter’s level programmes focused on chemical and biological
processes at Swedish universities. Universities that offer
course programs tailored to biopharmaceutical manufac
turing needs include Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
in Stockholm, Uppsala University, Linköping University
and Lund University. Both Lund University and KTH’s
School of Biotechnology have pilot facilities for cell cul-
KTH’s School of Biotechnology has about 220 employ
ees in its biochemistry, bioprocess technology, environ
mental microbiology, gene technology, molecular biotech
nology, nanobiotechnology, proteomics and theoretical
chemistry departments. Extensive vaccine research is

carried out at the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease
Experts in biopharmaceutical manufacturing
Sweden’s experience in biomanufacturing dates back dec
ades. KabiVitrum (later merged with Pharmacia, today
Pfizer) began production in Strängnäs in the early 1980s.
A company like BioInvent has supplied purified therapeu
tic grade mammalian antibodies since 1988. Biovitrum
has over 30 years contract manufacturing experience and
the company is today the sole global manufacturer for
Wyeth of the protein-based drug ReFacto®, used for treat
ment of hemophilia.
Infrastructure to support global ambitions
Manufacturing activity accounts for 20 percent of

Sweden’s GDP and 50 percent of exports. The fact that
Sweden is located far away from many of its major export
markets has resulted in long-standing productivity improve-

ments and highly efficient supply chains. All of Sweden’s
major biopharmaceutical manufacturing sites are located
close to both international airports and transport net
works as well as clusters for biopharmaceutical drug dis
covery and development.
Strängnäs: a center for training of process engineering operators
Building on the wealth of biopharmaceuti
cal activities in the city of Strängnäs, inclu
ding the Pfizer manufacturing site, com
panies, universities, training centers and
the local municipality have formed Biotech-
valley, a cluster initiative focused on bio
A wide range of training programmes
are now offered, including a one-year
course for process engineering operators
and a two-year post-upper-secondary
vocational training course focused on
pharmaceutical technology. A university-
level quality course provides skilled quality
engineers to the industry. There are also a
large number of short commissioned cour
ses, tailored to suit customer demands.
Biotechvalley also runs a process deve
lopment laboratory, BVLAB, where small
and medium-sized firms have an opportu
nity to industrialize their projects. There are
pilot facilities for eukaryot and prokaryot
cultivation. Moreover, the laboratory is a
platform for collaboration with both uni
versities and large pharmaceutical com
panies with regard to development pro
jects and competence development.
Pfizer’s bioproduction site in Strängnäs is one of the world’s largest.
“ Sweden is a top European biotech competitor, with strong
clusters and a good chance of delivering industry champions.
The highly competitive innovation base, with clinical research
institutions such as Karolinska Institutet, is yielding healthy
start-up activity. Of importance to attract foreign talent,
the quality of life seems to be as good as it gets.”
Prof. Andreas Wicki, CEO, HBM Partners
biopharmaceutical production
biotech regions

Sweden’s five biotech regions each offers its particular
blend of industry strength and academic research excel
lence. All of them offer good scope for a high quality

The Stockholm-Uppsala Bioregion make up the core of
the mideastern biotechnology belt. More than half of the
country’s biotech firms are located here. Another large bi
otech region, Medicon Valley, is found in the south, cen
tered around the cities of Malmö and Lund on the Swedish
side and Copenhagen on the Danish side. Both clusters
host more than 100 companies each.
Interaction between regions
Distances between Swedish clusters are short, facilitating
cross-collaboration between biotech firms and academic
research groups in different cities. It is common for large
research projects/virtual centers of excellence to involve
multi-site researchers. There is a strong focus on transla
tional and interdisciplinary research.
Major expansion underway
Numerous large-scale projects to develop integrated

academic and industry research environments are either
planned or initiated.
The Stockholm Science City – Bioscience project aims

to create a new city district and an arena for bioscience

activities in the suburb of Solna and the northern parts of
the inner city, physically integrating Karolinska Institutet,
Karolinska University Hospital, the Royal Institute of
Technology and Stockholm University. The plan is to cre
ate office space for 33,000 staff and residential space for
13,000 people. Work is forecasted to begin in 2010. Con
struction work on an expanded Karolinska Institutet

Science Park has already begun. The three-building site
will offer space to some of the biotech companies created
as offshoots from Karolinska’s research programs.
In Göteborg, “Medical Hill” is one of the largest medi
cal research and development centers in Northern Europe,
housing businesses, academic research, education and

Sahlgrenska University Hospital in one distinct area. Its
uniquely compact geography facilitates both collaboration
and commercialization. Some 140,000 sq.m. of research,
education and business space will be added in a future

expansion phase.
Research activities in Lund have been boosted by the
creation of the Biomedical Center, BMC, located adjacent
to the Lund University. The BMC is Lund University’s sin
gle largest unit for teaching and research, with a total of
1,250 employees and students. Basic research is integrated
with clinical research and no less than one hundred re
search groups are located together.
Six medical universities
With six medical universities and over 150,000 students,
Sweden is well prepared for future skills demand. Karolin
ska Institutet is the largest medical university in northern
Europe, and has 2,000 registered doctoral students.
Vibrant life science clusters
Great skills supply, coordinated cluster efforts
and a good research climate characterize

Sweden’s biotech regions, some of which are
Europe’s largest. All clusters are located within
one hour’s flight time from each other.
• Two Swedish biotech regions are among Europe’s largest
• Strong interaction and collaboration between regions
• Major investments to expand research environments
key features
biotech regions

Two of Europe’s largest
clusters found in Sweden
Adapted from The Swedish Life Science Industry Guide, 2007
Sahlgrenska Academy has been involved in
the development of several blockbuster drugs.
Drug discovery and devel opment, stem
cell research, biomaterials, clinical trials.
Sahlgrenska Academy, Chalmers
University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University
Hospital Institute for Bio materials and Cell The-
rapy (IBCT), Cardiovascular and Metabolic Sci-
ence Network (CVM), Biomaterials Research Cen-
ter (BRC), Sahlgrenska Center for Cardiovascular
and Metabolic Research (CMR),
Angiogenetics, Artimplant, Astratech,
AstraZeneca, Biovitrum, Cellartis, Cellectricon,
Entifi c, Midorion, Mölnlycke Healthcare, Nanoxis,
Neurosearch Sweden, Nobel Biocare, Q-Sense,
Vitrolife. /
Home to one of the best biobanks
in the world (blood samples from
over 70,000 individuals).
Microbiology, molecular
biology, genetics, bioinformatics,
Umeå University,
Umeå University Hospital, Umeå
Center for Molecular Medicine
Agrisera, Betagenon,
Bioresonator, GE Healthcare, Inn-
ate, Sequant, Umbio, Umecrine
Stockholm, Uppsala and Strängnäs
The Stockholm-Uppsala Bioregion is one of
Europe’s strongest biotech clusters. Karolin-
ska Institutet in Stockholm is recognized as
one of the world’s most prominent medical
research institutes. Uppsala has particular
strengths in biotech tools, Strängnäs is a cen-
ter for biopharmaceutical manufacturing.
Neuroscience, clinical trials, diag-
nostics, stem cell research, bioinformatics,
biotech tools, drug delivery, genomics, pro-
teomics, biomanufacturing.

Karolinska Institu-
tet, The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH),
Stockholm University, Södertörn University
College, Karolinska University Hospital, Karo-
linska Institutet Science Park, Swedish Insti-
tute for Infectious Disease Control (SMI),
Stockholm Bioinformatics Center, European
Center for Disease Prevention and Control
University Medical Products Agency,
Uppsala Genetics Center, Uppsala Clinical
Research Center (UCR), Linnaeus Center for
Aerocrine, Affi body,
Astra Zeneca, Biolipox, Biovitrum, Karo Bio,
Medivir, Neuronova
Biotage, GE
Healthcare, Gyros, Orexo, Phadia, Q-med
DSM, Pfi zer, Recip. / /
Malmö and Lund
Part of the Swedish-Danish Medi-
con Valley biotechnology cluster,
one of Europe’s largest. Strong
support industry with several high-
tech, pharmaceutical and med-
tech companies.
Pharma and drug deve-
lopment, clinical trials, biotech
tools, stem cell research, biopro-
duction, diagnostics, biomaterials,
Lund University,
Malmö University, Malmö Univer-
sity Hospital, Biomedical Center at
Lund University, Ideon, Lund Cen-
ter for Stem Cell Biology and Cell
Therapy, Wallenberg Neurosci-
ence Center, Neuronanoscience
Center at Lund University.
Acadia Pharma-
ceuticals, Active Biotech, Alligator
Biosciences, AstraZeneca,
Bio Invent, Cellavision, Gambro,
NeuroPharma, Novozymes
Bio pharma, Ospol, Probi,Trial
Form Support.
University recognized for technological excellence, inter alia
in sensor science and medical imaging.
Medical technology, diagnostics, medical imaging
Linköping University, Center for Medical
Image Science and Visualization (CMIV), Center for Non-
invasive Medical Measurements (NIMED), Swedish National
Laboratory of Forensic Science, Swedish Sensor Center,
Linköping University Hospital.
Cenova, CSM Materialteknik, Contextvision,
Damavand Wound, Dynamic Code, InNetics, Micromuscle,
Saphenia, Sectra, Selectica Pharmaceuticals.
biotech regions

national centers of excellence

Strategic Research Centre for Organic
Seeks to record and regulate signals in indivi
dual cells to control stem cell differentiation,
to steer cell-to-cell signalling and to achieve
neural interconnects.

The Linnaeus Center for Bioinformatics
Research ranging from microbial and mam
malian genomics via computational functional
genomics to molecular evolution.

The Stockholm Bioinformatics Center
Bioinformatics research and methods devel-
opment and a strong training environment.
Biomaterials and cell therapy

Berzelius Center for Supramolecular

Inter-disciplinary center for structural design of
biomaterials with unique functional features.

New materials for implants and prosthesis,
partly by applying stem cell technology.


Stockholm Centre for Biomembrane

The biochemistry of membrane proteins

and the folding, structure and dynamic of
these proteins.

Centre for Clinical Comparative Oncology
Research on spontaneously occurring tumors
in companion animals to serve the progress of
cancer treatment both in animal and man.

Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
(Stockholm and
International research institute. Stockholm
branch focused on cell and molecular biology,
Uppsala branch on growth regulation.,

Cancer research network for studies of the
diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic poten
tial of mesenchymal cells of the tumor stroma.

Strategic Centre for Clinical Cancer

– CREATE Health
Integrative approach to develop novel

cancer diagnostics and therapeutics, seven
research groups.
Cardiovascular and metabolic research

Sahlgrenska Center
for Cardiovascular

and Metabolic Research
The underlying mechanisms of the metabolic
syndrome of insulin resistance and strategies
to prevent and treat its complications.
Cell- and molecular biology

Context, competence and combinatorial
signalling in vertebrate development
The development of a full individual out of the
inseminated egg. Cooperation between Karo
linska Institutet and Umeå University.

Functional genomics

Strategic Research Centre for Functional
Domestic animals and other model organisms
studied to resolve the genetics of metabolic,
inflammatory and malignant syndromes.

Mitochondrial Medicine Center
Addresses mitochondrial diseases from diffe
rent perspectives, from cell to patient. Involves
six research groups and clinics.
Immunobiology and vaccines

Mucosal Immunobiology and

Vaccine Center – MIVAC
19 research groups with expertise in

basic immunology, cell biology, protein
chemistry, glycobiology, gastroenterology,
microbiology and vaccinology.

Stockholm Brain Institute
Initiative involving ten research groups within
cognitive and computational neuroscience.

Swedish Brain Power – Center for

Early Diagnosis & Therapy Research

(Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö,
Umeå and Uppsala)

National network initiated in 2005 and invol
ving 73 research groups. See also page 11.
Protein technology

AlbaNova VINNEX Center for Protein

R&D in close collaboration with Swedish bio
tech companies, based on data generated
through the HPR project (see below).


Human Proteome Resource

Stockholm and Uppsala)
Systematic generation of quality assured

specific antibodies to human proteins. Data
supplied to the scientific community through
a public database.
Stem cells / Regenerative medicine

Lund Stem Cell Center
Development of stem cell and cell replace
ment therapies in the central nervous and
blood systems as well as research in non-
mammalian model systems.

Neuronanoscience Research Center
Development of nano-scale biocompatible
implants for treatment of neurological

disorders and pain.

Strategic Research Center in Develop
mental Biology for Regenerative Medicine
Focus on the molecular basis for stem cell

differentiation. Objective to generate new
paradigms in cellular transplantation and
regenerative medicine.
National Centers of Excellence

– a selection
sweden for clinical trials

Sweden is distinguished by high scientific standards, rapid
access to well-defined patient cohorts and an outstanding
capacity to track patients over time. Research nurses are
granted significant responsibilities, making it easier to
reach patients and instigate clinical trials. Another advan
tage is patients’ willingness to participate and remain in
clinical trials.
Great for epidemiological and genetic research
Sweden’s use of personal identity numbers and the exist
ence of national population registers, health registers, dis
ease-specific registers, drugs register and national quality
registers make Sweden uniquely placed for longitudinal
studies around cause of disease and disease prognosis as
well as for studies of effects, side effects and health eco
Personal identity numbers have been in use since 1948
and enables linkage of exposure and outcome data dating
back several decades. For example, the Swedish Hospital
Discharge Register includes in-patient data from 1964 and
the Multi-Generation Register enables the identification of
first-degree relatives of all Swedish residents born in 1932
or later.
Moreover, several large biobanks have been built up,
both during routine medical health care as well as for spe
cific research purposes. This means epidemiological regis
ters can also be used for genetic studies.
The Medical Products Agency – a respected authority
Sweden’s regulatory authority, the Medical Products Agency
(MPA), is one of the EU’s most frequently consulted authori
ties, under both centralized and mutual recognition proce
dures. The MPA’s share of allocated investigations as a rap
porteur or co-rapporteur country under the EU centralized
procedure was 25 percent in 2006. It is also one of the pre
ferred investigative authorities for new active substances.
In the frontline of research
Sweden offers cutting-edge research capabilities in areas

of importance to clinical trials. These include in silico drug
development, clinical trial design, health economics and
Ability to handle large-scale trials
Sweden is home to a wide range of highly qualified con
tract research organizations (CROs) and site management
organizations (SMOs), capable of delivering most services
pharmaceutical companies need in the clinical stages.
Among the larger CROs are A+ Science, Nordic Manage
ment of Clinical Trials, Quintiles and Trial Form Support.
One firm is noted for its ability to manage a screening pro
gram of 30,000 obese individuals in five weeks, resulting
in the identification of more than 500 previously drug-

naive diabetics. The newly established Karolinska Trial
Alliance is a one-stop-shop for clinical trials within the
Stockholm region, helping companies in contacts with the
right physician, patients and investigator.
Blockbuster drugs tested in Sweden
Pharmaceutical companies have long since
turned to Sweden for its ability to deliver

valid clinical data, rapidly and cost-effectively.
Genetic research and phases IV and V clinical
trials can likely be conducted with better

accuracy in Sweden than anywhere else.
• Well-developed clinical trials infrastructure
• Great resources for advanced clinical research
• High enrollment rates and patient compliance
key features
sweden for clinical trials

Blockbuster drugs clinically tested in Sweden
The world’s best-selling human pharmaceuticals 2005
Product Company Clinical trial in Sweden *
1. Lipitor (atorvastation) Pfizer Yes
2. Plavix (clopidogrel) Sanofis/Bristol-Myers Yes
3. Nexium (esomeprazol) AstraZeneca Yes
4. Seretide (Advair (fluticasone+salmetrol) GlaxoSmithKline Yes
5. Zocor/Lipovas (simvastatin) Merck Yes
6. Norvasc (amlodipine) Pfizer Yes
7. Zyprexa (olanzapine) Eli Lilly Yes
8. Risperdal (reperidone) Johnson & Johnson Yes
9. Ogastro/Prevacid (lansoprazole) Abbott Yes
10. Effexor (venlafaxine) Wyeth Yes
*Clinical trials were performed in Sweden and several other countries.
IMS Health, TFS Trial Form Support International, 2007
Biopharmaceutical drugs clinically tested in Sweden
The world’s best-selling biopharmaceuticals 2005
Product Company Clinical trial in Sweden *
1. Enbrel (etanercept) Wyeth Yes
2. Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) Amgen Yes
3. Rituxan (rituximab) Genmab Yes
4. Procrit/Eprex (epoetin alfa) Johnson & Johnson Yes
5. Herceptin (trastuzumab) Genentech Yes
6. Remicade (infliximab) Centocor Yes
7. Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) Amgen Yes
8. Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) Novartis Yes
9. Epogen (epoetin alfa) Amgen Yes
10. Avastin (bevacizumab) Roche Yes
*Clinical trials were performed in Sweden and several other countries.
TFS Trial Form Support International, 2007
Swedish registers and biobanks – unique resources for research
A selection
Disease and population registers Biobanks
Causes of Death Register Karolinska Institutet Biobank
Medical Register of Births Malmö Biobank Consortium
Multi-Generation Register Medical Biobank, Umeå
Swedish Cancer Register Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control Biobank

Swedish Hospital Discharge Register Twin Gene Biobank

Total Population Register Uppsala Fresh Tissue Biobank
Twin Register
Invest in Sweden Agency, 2007
Clinical trials in Sweden during 2006
A selection
Biogen Idec
Boehringer Ingelheim
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Eli Lilly
GE Healthcare
Novo Nordisk
Orion Pharma
Läkemedelsindustriföreningen (the Swedish
Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry), 2007
A preferred choice for EU drug approval
Number of rapporteur-/co-rapporteurships,

Sweden 11%
UK 11%
Germany 10%
France 10%
Denmark 9%
Netherlands 9%
Other 40%
Swedish Medical Products Agency, 2007
In the twelve-year period from 1995 to 2006,
Sweden’s Medical Products Agency was the
EU’s most preferred investigative authority, as
measured by the total number of rapporteur
ships for human and veterinary medicines.
venture capital infrastructure

In 2006, Swedish biotech firms received nearly SEK 800
million (€ 90 million/US$ 115 million) in 110 separate
investments, the highest figure since 2001. The relatively
modest funding levels per investment is an effect of lower
cost for research in Sweden than elsewhere.
Financial providers include both life science VCs (e.g.
Health Cap, H&B Capital, Scandinavian Life Science
Venture) as well as VCs with a broader focus (Innovations-
kapital, SEB Företagsinvest, the Swedish Industrial Devel-
opment Fund). International syndications are frequent,
with companies such as ABN Amro, Apax and Schroder
Ventures having made investments.
Global biotechnology firms are also active. In 2007,
Amgen announced a major offensive in Sweden, earmark
ing € 100 million to invest in biotech firms.
Universities active funding partners
Each major Swedish university operates a holding compa
ny with a right to start new ventures and technology trans
fer units to facilitate the early stages of commercialization.
At Karolinska Institutet (KI), for example, several entities
are involved.
Karolinska Innovations allows scientists to translate
discoveries into new products by supplying project man
agement, patent protection, commercial law services and
access to an international industry network. In the space
of four years, 22 new start-ups that received SEK 500 mil
lion (€ 55 million/US$ 70 million) in funding were created.
Karolinska Development is an early stage investment
company that to date has started three funds and invested
in over 35 companies. Associated with KI is also the Karo
linska Investment Fund, a venture capital fund with a
health care focus.
Joint ownership between universities, scientists and in
dustry is a trend. Atlas Antibodies, a company set up to
further process and commercialize research results from
the exploration and mapping of the Human Protein Atlas
(HPA), is owned by two universities (Royal Institute of
Technology and Uppsala University), the scientists and
venture capitalists (Investor Growth Capital and Scandi
navian Life Science Venture).
Researchers’ rights promote entrepreneurial activity
The “teachers’ exemption” system protects the commer
cial rights of academic researchers to any discoveries they
make, unless the discoverer has made another arrangement
with the university. This has resulted in a surge of entre
preneurial activity and the creation of many companies.
GIBBS, the Göteborg International Bioscience Business
School offers a Master’s level program for bio-entrepre
neurs focused on creating new ventures. GIBBS is part of

a start-up infrastructure that includes the Sahlgrenska Sci
ence Park and Chalmers Innovation incubators. In Stock
holm, Karolinska Institutet has a separate unit for bioen
trepreneurship, whose sole mission is to inspire, educate
and train undergraduate and PhD students and faculty.
Sophisticated VC industry
Sweden offers one of Europe’s most mature
venture capital (VC) markets. International
syndication is frequent and support to biotech
start-ups is available along all stages of com
pany growth.

Tech transfer units and investment funds at all

major universities
• Several domestic life science venture capitalists
• International VC syndications are common
key features
venture capital infrastructure
Riskkapitalbolagens aktiviteter; Swedish Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Innovationsbron, Nutek, 2007
Sweden possesses an evolved infrastructure for financing in the early stages.
There is strong support for commercializing research results from academic
research and good infrastructure surrounding the universities to facilitate

entrepreneurship. A wide range of public bodies provide support, including
university holding companies, technology transfer units and state agencies.
These are complemented by regional bodies, business angel networks and
venture capitalists.
Swedish VC investments
SEK million invested in life science, 2001–2006
Value of investments, MSEK*

Number of investments
* 1 SEK = € 0.11, US$ 0.14
SVCA, Swedish Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, 2007
The graph shows investments by Swedish venture capitalists in life
science firms. A number of large buy-outs have boosted figures for
2005 and 2006.
Early stage financing and support
An overview of the Swedish infrastructure
Company set-up
Inspiration/information Verification Pre-seed Seed Start-up Expansion
Incubators and science parks
University holding companies
Nutek – the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth
Vinnova – the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems
Regional councils
Business angels
Semi-public venture capital companies
Private venture capital companies
Non-financial support
Conditional loans
European VC investments
Share of total life science investments, 2003–2006

UK 40%
Sweden 16%
France 13%
Germany 9%
Denmark 5%
The Netherlands 4%
Other 12%
ISA compilation based on data supplied by SVCA, Swedish
Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, 2007
Between 2003 and 2006, Sweden received 16 percent of all Euro-
pean private equity investments in life sciences. These figures are
significantly higher than Sweden’s population would indicate.
state-owned lender and provider of capital.
State-owned incubator manager and provider of seed capital.
State-owned foundation, provider of early
stage financing.
the swedish economy

Home to world-leading companies
For a country of nine million inhabitants, Sweden has

produced a large number of leading companies in a wide
range of industry and service sectors. AstraZeneca, Erics
son, H&M, Ikea, Saab, SCA, Scania, Securitas and Volvo
are all examples of companies that originate in Sweden.
Large presence of multinationals
Sweden was targeted early on by foreign multinationals.
IBM, for instance, established operations in Sweden in
1928 as one of the company’s first subsidiaries abroad.
Foreign-owned companies today employ almost a quarter
of Sweden’s private sector workforce.
Large recipient of foreign investment
Between 2001 and 2005, Sweden was the world’s 15th larg
est recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI), accounting
for a total inflow of $ 54 billion (€ 42 billion). Sweden’s

attractions include a well performing economy, a favorable
cost position, competitive corporate taxes and an innovative
business climate driven by R&D-intensive international
Strategic location in northern Europe
Another attraction is Sweden’s central location in the rap
idly expanding northern Europe/Baltic Sea region market
place (see section on page 31). Sweden receives nearly 50
percent of the region’s FDI inflows. Almost 60 percent of
the world’s 2,000 largest multinational companies that have
set up regional headquarters have chosen a base in Sweden.
The world’s largest accounting firms and major interna
tional bank and law firm networks are also present.
International economy
Sweden has strong economic ties with the other European
countries. In 2006, an estimated 60 percent of Swedish

exports of goods and 70 percent of imports were traded
with EU economies. The largest single export market is
the US, receiving an estimated 11 percent of total Swedish
exports of goods. The neighboring Scandinavian coun
tries are also major trading partners. Moreover, Swedish
companies have substantial interests in Central and East
ern Europe and in Asia, notably China, where some 400
Swedish companies are established.
Diversified and productive
Sweden’s core industries in pharmaceuticals, automotive,
pulp and paper, steel, energy, chemicals and heavy manu
facturing have formed the backbone of the economy from
the early days of industrialization. While these industries
continue to play an important role, today they are comple
mented by the technology and retail sectors, which have
experienced rapid growth. Over the past decade, Swedish
industry has posted one of the fastest productivity growth
rates in the world, partly as a result of its skill in applying
information technology.
One of Europe’s best-performing economies
Sweden hosts one of the world’s most respect
ed and internationally integrated economies,
and is a large recipient of foreign direct invest-
ment. Macroeconomic stability has been com
bined with solid growth and low inflation.

A European leader in economic performance

Diversified and international business community

Strong presence of leading technologies and ideas

The largest market in northern Europe
key features
the swedish economy

Since 1998, Swedish GDP growth has out
paced the Euro area, while the gap in GDP
per capita to the OECD front-runners is

closing. The OECD average for the period
2002–2006 was 2.5 percent.
1) GDP at constant prices
National Institute of Economic Research;

Eurostat; OECD, 2007
GDP growth
in selected countries
2002–2006, average annual change, percent

Euro area
Inflation has been among the lowest in

Europe since the mid-1990s. Falling import
prices, deregulation, foreign competition and
restrained wage growth are the main reasons
behind this performance. The OECD annual
average for the period 2002–2006 was 2.4
National Institute of Economic Research;

Eurostat; OECD, 2007
Inflation rate
2002–2006, average annual change, percent

Euro area
FDI stock in selected countries
1990, 2000 and 2005, percentage of GDP
Country 1990 2000 2005
Ireland 119.5 133.8 105.7
Estonia n/a 48.4 93.6
Netherlands 23.3 65.8 74.1
Czech Republic 3.7 38.9 48.1
Sweden 5.3 39.2 47.8
Denmark 6.9 46.5 39.1
UK 20.6 30.5 37.1
EU average 10.9 26.3 33.5
France 7.1 19.6 28.5
Finland 3.7 20.2 27.3
Brazil 8.5 17.1 25.4
Norway 10.7 18.1 18.5
Germany 6.7 14.5 18.0
Russia n/a 12.4 17.3
China 5.4 17.9 14.3
US 6.9 12.9 13.0
India 0.5 3.8 5.8
Japan 0.3 1.1 2.2
Unctad, 2006
In order to provide a broad picture of countries’ attractiveness for FDI, ISA
has compiled the result (country rankings) of nine authoritative and pub-
licly available country performance indices, covering not only Europe but
most developed and a number of developing countries. The sample is iden
tical with the 48 countries included in the Global Innovation Scoreboard.
The indices measure a range of competitiveness factors, from “hard” to
“soft” factors including quality of life, which – as the basic business climate
generally is improving in most locations – is becoming more sought-

after by investors. Each index carries the same weight in the compilation.

The overall ranking is deduced from the countries’ average ranking in

the nine indices: for instance, top-ranked Sweden received an average
ranking of 6.0 followed by the US at 6.4, Denmark and Singapore at 7.2
and Finland at 7.3. This would give the countries a 1-2-3-3-5 rank in the
composed index.
ISA Composed Competitiveness Index
2007, country rank (including IMD index for 2007)

Global World Inward FDI Business Doing Global Knowledge Corruption Quality

Competitiveness Competitiveness Potential Competitive- Business Innovation Economy Perceptions of Life

Index Scoreboard
Index ness Index Index Scoreboard Index Index

Transparency Economist

Ranking Country WEF IMD UNCTAD WEF World Bank TrendChart
World Bank International Intelligence Unit

1. Sweden 3 9 7 7 13 2 2 6 5
2. US 6 1 1 1 3 7 6 20 13
3. Denmark 4 5 21 5 7 9 1 4 9
3. Singapore 5 2 5 11 1 5 20 5 11
5. Finland 2 17 13 3 14 1 3 1 12
6. Switzerland 1 6 20 4 15 3 11 7 2
7. Iceland 14 7 12 13 12 15 4 1 7
8. Norway 12 13 6 14 9 16 5 8 3
9. Canada 16 10 3 15 4 11 9 14 14
10. Netherlands 9 8 11 6 22
10 8 9 16
1) The original IMD ranking includes a number of regions, which have been deducted in the above account

2) The European TrendChart on Innovation is an initiative of the European Commission

3) The index may give the same ranking to two or more countries
ISA compilation, 2007; World Economic Forum (WEF), 2006; Institute for Management Development (IMD), 2007; UNCTAD, 2006;
World Bank, 2007; TrendChart, 2007; Transparency International, 2006; Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), 2005

the swedish economy
Strong macroeconomic performance
Swedish fiscal and monetary policies have succeeded in
maintaining a macroeconomic environment conducive to
solid and sustainable growth. The national pension system
has been reformed and the Central Bank’s independence
has been strengthened. Strict government spending limits
have been imposed under parliamentary control. The cur
rent account surplus runs at 6 percent of GDP. Economic
growth has outpaced the OECD average for the last ten-
year period. Inflation rates over the past five years are
among the lowest of all EU countries. Sweden also consist
ently receives high marks for infrastructure and public sec
tor efficiency in internationally recognized surveys.
Recognized for competitiveness
Global competitiveness surveys regularly give Sweden

top rankings. In its Global Competitiveness Report 2006,
the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Sweden as the
third most competitive country in the world, the same

position as in 2005. WEF’s Growth Competitiveness Index
aims to gauge the ability of the world’s economies to achieve
sustained economic growth over the medium to long term.
Sweden’s competitiveness has been confirmed in other
studies by OECD and the World Bank, for example.
Innovative power
Sweden is today regarded as one of the world’s most know-
ledge-based economies. Sweden invests more in R&D – 4.0
percent – as a proportion of GDP than any other OECD
country and ranks as number one in innovation perform
ance among EU member countries, according to the Euro
pean Commission.
Center of excellence
Sweden’s position in information and communication tech
nologies (ICT) has compelled leading high-tech companies
to establish global R&D centers in the country. Cisco, HP,
Huawei Technologies, Hutchison Whampoa, Intel, Nokia,
SonyEricsson, Sun Microsystems and Symantec are exam
ples from a list that includes more than 30 companies.
Low business costs
Sweden’s business cost level is generally comparable to
most OECD countries, but it has some country specific

advantages. Salary costs for qualified personnel and rental
costs for industrial and office space are relatively low.

Sweden’s advanced telecom sector and early deregulation
of public sector services have resulted in low costs for
communications, especially telecom and postal services.
Growth expectations
The Swedish economy is in an expansionary phase driven
by an overall surge in exports, consumption and invest
ment. GDP growth in 2006 is estimated at 4.3 percent by
the National Institute of Economic Research. The econo
my is expected to remain strong over the next couple of
years, with growth rates at 3.6 percent in 2007 and 3.2
percent in 2008. 2006 has also brought about a major up
turn in employment while inflation remains low. Eurostat
expects the euro area, Sweden’s major export market, to
grow by 2.7 percent in 2006 and 2.2 percent in 2007.
Well within EMU convergence criteria
In substance, Sweden meets the economic and financial

requirements for EMU (European Monetary Union) mem
bership, although a 2003 referendum on Sweden’s partici
pation resulted in a “no” to introducing the euro at this
point. In January 2006, the European Commission ap
proved Sweden’s convergence program for 2006–2008.
The evaluation found Sweden to be well within the set

criteria with regard to inflation rates, budgetary and pub
lic debt positions and long-term interest rates. The Swed
ish currency (SEK) strengthened against the euro and the
US dollar during 2006.
of swedish origin
the swedish economy
Economic engine in northern Europe
Sweden is the largest market
The integration of emerging economies such as Estonia,
Latvia and Lithuania with more developed markets like
Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland has created a
new, rapidly growing Baltic Sea region. Of these seven
countries, Sweden is by far the largest market, accounting
for a major share of both consumers and economic activi
ty. In all, there are some 100 million consumers in coun
tries located around the Baltic Sea.
Dynamic neighborhood
The Scandinavian countries post a strong track record

of macroeconomic performance. Annual growth rates in

the Baltic countries are in the 8–11 percent range. Russia
promises to be a major economy. The mix of growing
economies in a geographically confined space and at vari
ous levels of development is a key contributor to making
this region so exciting.
Financial center
The Swedish capital, Stockholm, hosts a thriving financial
services sector that employs more than 45,000 staff.

Numerous foreign banks are established in the city. The
Stockholm stock market is the largest in the region and

its operator, OMX, also owns and operates the stock

exchanges in Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia
and Lithuania. Swedish banks are major players through
out the region. Many international banks choose Sweden
as the platform for regional activities.
Preferred location for multi-country distribution
Sweden is also the preferred platform for centralized logis
tics activities. Companies like Canon, Goodyear Dunlop,
Honda, Philips, Toyota and many others have chosen
Swedish logistics hubs such as Norrköping, Göteborg

and Malmö to serve countries in the Baltic Sea region.
From Sweden, all major cities in Sweden, Denmark,
Finland and Norway are accessible by road transport in

less than 12 hours, while Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and
western Russia are accessible within 24 hours. Sweden, with
its diversified industry structure and strong reliance on ex
ports, is expected to be a major source of trade flows to the
emerging markets in Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Population, GDP and GDP growth, 2006

Population, GDP at current prices Real GDP growth rate,
million € billion percent

Sweden 9.1 299.2 4.1
Denmark 5.4 221.4 3.0
Finland 5.2 167.4 4.9
Norway 4.6 264.6 3.0
Lithuania 3.4 23.3 7.8
Latvia 2.3 15.3 11.0
Estonia 1.3 12.8 10.9
Note: GDP and GDP growth figures are preliminary




Sweden is at the heart of a region that has
consistently outpaced the euro area both in
growth and macroeconomic performance.

Contact ISA or its partners

for investment assistance
This publication is produced by Invest in Sweden Agency, ISA, and co-sponsored by its regional
life science partners – Stockholm Business Region, Business Region Göteborg and Region Skåne.
ISA works to attract and facilitate foreign direct investment, and provides details about Swed
ish business conditions and investment opportunities, as well as introductions to government
agencies, local authorities, and business organizations. All services provided are free of charge.
The partners provide similar services on the regional level. Contact details for ISA are found
on the opposite page, contact details for partners are listed below.

P O Box 16282
SE-103 25 Stockholm
Visiting address: Drottninggatan 33
Tel:+ 46 8 508 280 00
Fax: +46 8 508 280 90
stockholm business region
Norra Hamngatan 14
SE-411 14 Göteborg
Tel: +46 31 61 24 02
Fax: +46 31 61 24 01
business region göteborg
Stortorget 9
SE-211 22 Malmö
Tel: +46 40 623 97 48
Fax: +46 40 35 92 04
region skåne
lennart nilsson – a pioneer in medical photography
Many of the pictures in this publica
tion were taken by Lennart Nilsson,
the famous Swedish medical photo
grapher. In association with resear
chers at Karolinska Institutet in
Stockholm and with the help of
advanced, specifically designed
equipment, Lennart Nilsson has
documented the inside of man
down to cell levels.
Page 1
The appearance

of the blood clot under a
light microscope. Body

Victorious 1985
Page 4
Bacteria are

absorbed one by one, and
destroyed by powerful che
micals inside the macro-
phage. National Geographic
Magazine, June 1986
Page 9
A damaged femur

of a 50-year-old woman

suffering from rheumatoid
arthritis. National Geograp
hic Magazine, June 1986
Page 13
Bone tissue of

a 80-year-old man. The

Incredible Machine 1986
Page 18
A macrophage
ensnares a bacteria in a
deadly embrace. The

Incredible Machine 1986
Page 21
The mitochondria
and the reticulum, some

of the cell’s most important
structures (higher magnifi
cation). Body Victorious
Page 24
Malaria parasites
have multiplied inside two
red blood cells. One has
burst open. National Geo
graphic Magazine, June
Page 26
The “bad” choles
terol. Body Victorious 1985
ISA contacts
Responsible publisher:
Invest in Sweden Agency
Björn Bergstrand, BBD Corporate Communications

Design and production:
Intellecta Communication
Alfa Print
Cover, page 3, 7: Photolibrary / NordicPhotos. Page 12, 20: Superstock. Page 14: GE Healthcare Life Sciences.

Page 15: Aerocrine. Page 16: Nobel Biocare. Page 17: Vitrolife. Page 19: Pfizer. Page 28: Sandvik. Pages 1, 4, 9, 13, 18, 21, 24, 26: Lennart Nilsson.
Finalized in August 2007. Printed on environmentally approved, chlorine-free paper. ISBN 978-91-975892-5-X.
Invest in Sweden Agency
P O Box 90
101 21 Stockholm
Tel: +46 8 402 78 00
Fax: +46 8 402 78 78
head office
Ylva Williams
Head of Life Science

Tel: +46 8 402 78 80
Fax: +46 8 402 78 78
Invest in Sweden Agency
Eddie Chen
Tel: +86 21 6390 6598
Fax: +86 21 6390 6592
Invest in Sweden Agency
Hans G. Rhodiner
Tel: +81 3 5562 5014
Fax: +81 3 5562 5130
Invest in Sweden Agency
Tony Svensson
Tel: +1 212 702 8780
Fax: +1 212 702 8783
isa offices
Danske Bank
Jan B Olsen
Tel: +45 4512 8068
Fax: +45 4514 9196
German-Swedish Chamber

of Commerce

Ninni Löwgren
Tel: +46 8 665 18 12
Fax: +46 8 665 18 04
Karolinska University Hospital
Sanjeevi Carani
Tel (Sweden): +46 8 517 762 54
Tel (India): +91 44 2642 3170
Swedish Trade Council
John Kim
Tel: +82 2 739 1460
Fax: +82 2 739 1463
Swedish Trade Council

Henrik Byström
Tel: +886 2 2757 6573
Fax: +886 2 2757 6723

Invest in Sweden Agency
Angela Scott
Tel: +44 20 7723 2000
Fax: +44 20 7723 2099
international operations
In countries which do not have ISA representation, ISA cooperates with Swedish embassies and consulates.
Invest in Sweden Agency (ISA) is the government agency responsible for promoting

business and investment opportunities in Sweden. Companies planning to establish or

expand operations in Sweden can, free of charge, obtain information and assistance

from ISA and its regional and international network.