Sweden to back biomanufacturing through SEK320m investment scheme

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Sweden Government Ministers outline biomanufacturing plan
Sweden Government Ministers outline biomanufacturing plan

Related tags Growth hormone Investment

The Swedish Government has announced a multi-million kronor plan to back biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing in the country.

The eight year scheme – which will be managed by the Swedish Government’s innovation agency, Vinnova – will provide public funding of SEK320m ($37m) to support protein, research, method development and biologic production.

Enterprise and innovation minister Mikael Damberg said: “Sweden has a strong base in biologics production and we have a proud tradition of protein research that we want to build on. The research programme will strengthen Sweden's competitiveness in an international context.​”

Biomanufacturing is Sweden

A considerable amount of biomnaufacturing already takes place in Sweden.

Drug major Pfizer​ has made the synthetic human growth hormone, Genotropin at a plant in Strangnas –100km west of the Swedish capital Stockholm – that it has owned since acquiring Pharmacia​.

Similarly, Octapharma​ and contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) Cobra operate manufacturing facilities in the country.

AstraZeneca is also investing in biomanufacturing capacity in Sweden.

 In May​ the firm told us it plans to use single-use manufacturing technology at a facility it is building in Södertälje.

Academia and Industry

With all this activity going on already it is not immediately obvious what the Government’s new scheme will do for Sweden’s biomanufacturing sector.

However, as Minister for Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson explained the idea is to help industry forge closer links with academia.

"Strategic and long-term investments in life sciences research are key to discovering and producing new medicines. In the long run, it is crucial for our well-being and for improving human health,"​ Knutsson said.

"The Government is taking steps to strengthen Swedish research and innovation. This investment in next generation biologics is part of efforts to make Sweden a leading research nation. Sweden will not settle for less​."

This was echoed by Damberg, who said: “Collaboration between academia and industry, and between small and large companies, is essential to managing health-related societal challenges​.”

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