Finland’s pharmaceutical research sector could double in size by 2020

Finnish patients view research positively and Finland’s pharmaceutical know-how is widely respected, according to new report.

Finland’s private pharmaceutical research sector could more than double in size by the year 2020, according to a report produced Ministry of Employment and the Economy by Mikko Alkio, a lawyer and former State Secretary at the ministry. Finland has traditionally been a popular location for pharmaceutical research but in recent years the number of clinical research projects has fallen as companies have moved to low-cost countries in Eastern Europe and Asia.

Nevetheless, Alkio believes that Finland still has good preconditions for competing for international pharmaceutical research projects. Finnish patients view the research positively and Finland’s pharmaceutical know-how is widely respected. In Alkio’s view the business potential of the health sector in Finland has not been recognized to the same degree as in the other Nordic countries. He also calls for the development of hospital clusters in Finland.

Biobanks could boost research

This year will see the establishment of several biobanks in Finland that will collect tissue samples from hospitals and private clinics. According to Tom Wiklund, Medical Director at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, tissue banks that would be open to the pharmaceutical companies could bring Finland a significant competitive advantage in the competition for international pharmaceutical research.

Petri Lehto, Head of the Enterprise and Innovation Department at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, would like to see Finnish universities working more closely together, creating knowledge clusters that attract international companies and encourage the formation of new startups.

Finland currently has about 150 companies in the pharmaceutical sector, with a total turnover of about EUR 2 billion in 2011.

Source: Yle.fi