Stockholm Corporate Finance Life Science Seminar 2017

I attended this years Stockholm Corporate Finance Life Science Seminar which is run every year and this is my 3rd year of attending.

Translated from Swedish Financial newsletter. 

More than 400 people participated in the Stockholm Corporate Finance Ninth Life Science seminar held on 21 and 22 March in cooperation with us at Financial Hearings and the news agency Direct. There were 16 companies that presented. These corresponding to a total market value of approximately SEK 15 billion. Investor Interest in Life Science sector continues to increase among both institutions, asset managers and private equity investors.

SCFs CEO Peter Enstrom began by informing about the present, 16 companies are an important part of the Swedish Life Science industry. Many companies are relatively small and are working under difficult financial circumstances, but their research, which in recent years has become increasingly sophisticated, will change many people’s health and lives. “Research with the support of venture capital is a necessity today to get a broad and vigorous Swedish Life Science industry to compete in the international market with the goal of becoming a world leader.”

Moderator during the day was a financial journalist Lars Frick. The companies that presented themselves were;

Addlife, Bactiguard, Camurus, Dignitana US Inc, Hansa Medical, index Pharma, IRLAB, Karolinska Development, MedCap, Medivir Pharma Moberg, Oasmia Pharmaceutical, Orexo, Redwood Pharma SciBase, and Wnt Reserarch.



(You certainly are still) Welcome to the UK, Stockholm 2017

Yesterday evening I attended for the 3rd year a event that is run by The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in London a event that was called (Are you still) welcome to the UK? of course talking about the Brexit situation.

This started off by The British Ambassador to Sweden David Cairns who said that the UK had a great opportunity to create closer relationships with the rest of the world following the announcement of Brexit plus that he hopes that business will not be affected by this plus the country is very welcoming and gave a “varmt välkommen” to everyone in Swedish.

This was then closely followed on by James Savage, Co-founder of The Local which is a written online newspaper for English written news and he went onto say that Brexit has caused huge issues with the question over immigration, here is Sweden the application for Swedish citizenship tripled after the announcement. He also mentioned the price for difference in applications in different member states will also make it harder for people to stay in the countries they currently reside.



Stefan Backlund a year ago decided to set up a office in London due to this being the number financial place in the world, to set up Trustly that is a fin tech online banking payment solution which they have has a really positive time by now employing 6 people and looking to take another 20/25 people.

Everyone since the announcement seems to have also become experts at trying to make sense of what the future 2 years will look like with the separation from the UK, Garvan Walsh from Brexit Analytics commented that he feels that the UK market is now an emerging market which in one way of another probably is the case.

What I am personally astounded by is that the previous Prime Minister lead us to a referendum and there was no clear plan in place that should the yes we want the UK to leave the European Union there would not be a time as such that everyone is left in the dark or not so, social media today comments on every possible angle of the good, bad plus ugly information that is said.

I think that this has left the brand of the UK in complete confusion on where the question on everyone minds in business, is this a country that we want to do business with or set up a business on the soil of the UK. I also really wonder what people would be talking about had this not actually happened?


Great to showcase Swedish companies in London at BioWednesday

On Wednesday 1st February, One Nucleus had their monthly BioWednesday where for the 2nd year we held the Swedish showcase which was a great success, this was at the lawyers Olswang in the city of London.

There were around 70 delegates who attended the event including the Swedish companies who presented.

Mattias Nystrom, APL

Nima Jokilaakso, Swecare

Anne Dorthe Madsen Brandt, Michael Wamberg and Ulrika Rosdahl, DB Lab

Philip Ridley Smith, Cobra Biologics

Anna Törner, Scandinavian Development Services

Anna Fahlgren, BioReperia

Albin Forslund, Visiba Care

Anders Björlin, Kiwok

Oliver Namin, Min Doktor




It was great to have Swecare part of the delegation as they help their members open doors but are also half supported by the Swedish Government and they arrange many international delegations.

I always love to be in London plus to visit the UK and it never ceases to amaze me the high caliber of knowledge that we have within out sector which I hope will enable patients to be empowered in their daily lives.

New Horizons in Biologics and Bioprocessing

On Thursday 15th December saw the New Horizons in Biologics and Bioprocessing take place at the Waterfront Conference centre in the heart of Stockholm, normally I drive a lot to Stockholm however on this day I took the train and got stuck due to a signal failure so was delayed by 45 minutes, it appears that even the Swedish train system is lacking updating to its rail network.

The event had Johan Rockberg from University of Stockholm, KTH taking about high throughput screening of CHO clones using droplet micro fluidics.

Pall International Sarl also presented their development and application of continuous clarification for CHO cell culture using acoustic technology by Henry Charlton.

I moderated the panel debate with Cobra Biologics, KTH and Pall International Sarl which was great fun and I asked the panelists if they could ask Father Christmas what they would like for work in 2017 what would it be?

The requests were global peace, more money in grants available, a hunger for continuous improvement for life sciences plus also a quicker implementation for technology in clinics and also my request would be that we see some sort of strategy to be put in place so we can at least work together.

Some other thoughts that came out of this debate was that we all agreed that patients need to be more empowered and that we all get the same treatment that’s available and not depending on where we live.

It was great to also listen to Mike Austin from AstraZeneca giving a update on the investment in their production facility in my home town of Söderatlje, they are looking to employ 150 people in the next 2 years. The clinical trials that are currently in phase 3 are going to be made at the Gärtuna site and put into pre filled syringes where they can then ship them off to the clinic so they can get to a patient. There is great is the breadth of disease areas they are now focusing which these are just a few of them respiratory, cardiology oncology and pediatrics.

This was a really interesting conference with technology reaching science fiction.

Scandinavian showcase at BioWednesday in London on 1st February 2017

Swedish delegation for 2016

This year on Wednesday 3rd February we had a Swedish showcase of companies who came as part of a delegation to One Nucleus BioWednesday which was held at the beautiful central London offices of Olswang LLP.

So we are going to the same event in 2017 and very pleased to be having the following companies as part of this Scandinavian delegation to London again on 1st February 2018.

We hope you will be able to attend the event and to see more information about this, here is the link.

Pharma Outsourcing and the published pipeline document for 2016!

On Thursday I presented my thoughts on 2016 in the world of the Life Science Sector at Pharma Outsourcing in Stockholm where there were more than 150 delegates attended. Yes this year has certainly been a political roller coaster but on a whole it seems to have been a good year as everyone in the audience of Pharma Outsourcing in Stockholm thought this.

In this years published “The Swedish Drug Discovery & Development Pipeline 2016” there are 369 projects in the pipeline and 144 of these are in clinical development and Oncology dominating with 60% of the projects being in this disease area, I do question if Sweden has $2.6 billion which it costs on average to get a drug to market plus what will the landscape look like in 10 years if the drug hits the market but unfortunately inevitably only 20% of these will never make it to a patient.

The Pharma Outsourcing presentations were well balanced with virtual companies wanting to find the best resource to help with their development of their projects plus also the outsourcing providers explaining how they can fill that void.

I moderated the panel debate with Pharma Consulting Group, IntervaccLife Science Biznes Consulting, Swecare and myself, it was a great discussion about the question around Standardisation in the way of trying to get people to realise that we need more system thinking when it comes to clinical development.

There was also the big question on where do we want to go in the industry and I really feel that we need some sort of Strategy in place so that we have plan and that would be great to see from the Swedish Government, we have a lot of great work going on but this is not being joined up.

There was also the question around data and the trust that the industry needs from the doctors, I still feel that its quite staggering that are phones know more about us than our doctor and this certainly need to change as the healthcare industry is lacking behind in customer services.

I wonder if this is a issue with time or that they are worried about the future and what this could hold but we as patients are being let down by this plus the promise of personalised medicine which as I see it is just a buzz word at the moment unless you want to pay privately for this service.



Genesis 2016, great to be part of the 16th year and still going strong!

This year was my 3rd year of attending Genesis and its into its 16th year but its always ever evolving, the fringe event was held at Canada House in Trafalgar Square right in the heart of London. The afternoon seminar title was “BioClusters Seminar: Collaboration, Competition and Funding” the visiting delegation were from Montreal, Quebec so it was great to learn about the Life Science companies and innovations that are going on over there.


There was also a panel debate about how to stay competitive being a life science cluster and how do you keep evolving but my conclusion is that with the population size of the UK and health challenges maybe these places will become some sort of community hub?


On Thursday 1st December on a beautiful crisp winter morning in the heart of Westminster, London. Harriet Fear, Chief Executive of One Nucleus opened Genesis and who a real inspiration to me, this year they have won best global membership as well. There were more delegates that have ever that attended, a fully packed schedule for the day with 4 different leadership sessions, workshops and 1-2-1 partnering plus much more.

Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President to AstraZeneca talked about how AstraZeneca has learned to focus on projects instead of the traditional research strategy they have had and they are seeing results with the amount of papers which have been published and this is being shown in the pipeline with pre clinical projects.


They have a phase 3 molecule being taken forward in DNA damage response that had been shelved but when Pascal joined the board the value was recognised and a collaboration with Moderna, RNA is actually being injected into cells and exciting results are being seen.

They also have a trial currently in animals which is to help regenerate heat failure and there are signs of improvement in cardiac function, this will start being in a clinical trial on the 31st December.

After following AstraZeneca for many years and working with them on their closure sites, I feel its a really exciting time to be a patient as they seem to be certainly open for innovation plus putting their efforts into making a patient better whether that’s with looking at personalised healthcare or the 2 million genome that they have just won the Script Award for.

Mike Ward, Global Director of Content at Scrip did his winners and losers he said that there has been a lag in investment due to political uncertainty in the west but cancer is dominating the market and the company that has had the biggest headache is the Epipen due to the investigation in pricing.

The lunch keynote speaker was Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business and said London really is the best place in the world to do business due to the openness, funding and great talent

I was very proud to be able to chair the workshop “Can Employers Revolutionise Med Tech Financing?” with speakers from Applied Nanodetectors, PWC, APL and Penningtons Manchesphoto-2016-12-01-18-16-26

The short outcome to the debate was that Public Health England should really make the population aware of what the state is of the UK health as 65% of 65 million people being overweight is not the way forward, with 2 million apps available on Apple store there is just to much choice and so much data that doctors are saying that they can not deal with anymore information. Is Investors in People a way forward to get employers to get their workforce having a pride in their well being?

Thoughts on attending BioEurope in Cologne, Germany.

Last week was certainly a busy time which started in the oldest city Cologne, Germany and I flew for the first time with Air Berlin and upon disembarking the plane they give all their customer a chocolate heart to say thank you for choosing to fly with them which I do wonder why other companies can not do this as it make the customer experience really nice.

photo-2016-11-07-12-27-55Monday 7th November I arrived at KölnMesse to represent the International Pharmaceutical Industry Magazine where there were 3,600 other delegates attending the 22nd annual BIO-Europe partnering conference and this is certainly the biggest conference that I have attended.

It was lovely to see the United Kingdom having a good presence with BioPartner attending with their delegation and trade stand, there were also other countries that made a impact in attending like South Korea, USA and obviously the host country

The opening welcome remarks were that there are lots of challenges that we all see in the world with climate change, ageing society and world wide issues and it was certainly interesting to see the outcome of the US election whilst being at this conference, you would think that the world had completely changed with the news.

On attending this event for 3 days I would highly recommend this, its a great place to do business plus also sit down grab coffee and just talk to people who also just want to talk but you certainly have to do some home work before attending this to get the maximum out of the

Lucy Robertshaw to moderate panel at Genesis – Can Employers Revolutionise Med Tech Financing?


16.10 – 17.10 – Can Employers Revolutionise Med Tech Financing?
Britten room on the 3rd floor
Sponsored by




Employers, and their expenditure on staff health and well being is an often untapped source of capital considered when innovators seek to engage the City. There is a strong business case that underpins investment in employee health and this session will discuss how innovative Med Tech companies could engage with employers to gain access to data and potentially funding that enables development of their products.

Lucy Robertshaw

Confirmed Speakers:

Victor Higgs, Applied Nanodetectors

Jo Salter, PwC

(others tbc)

Lucy Robertshaw commented “this is a great opportunity, its my 3rd year in attending the conference and the One Nucleus do a great job every year to put this together. I am certainly looking forward to see if we are just living in a commercial world and funding innovation just for the sake of it”.

Polish Life Sciences has money and is very open for biznes!

On Thursday 27th October I attended the 6th Central Eastern Life Science Investment conference which was held in the Hotel Stary, Krakow, Poland and was attended by around 70 delegates, I attended on behalf of BioPartner which is a membership organisation that promotes international trade.

I had no idea what to expect about the Polish market of Life Sciences but this was opened by Roland Kowlowski who is working with Life Sciences Biznes Consulting and said that his aim for the event was to get more money investing into Poland, for delegates to see the opportunities and to forge business

Pawel Kurzynski who is from NCBIR Poland started by saying that they have had 181 million in Euro funding and is now the 5th economy in Europe, this has all helped create competitiveness and also to give new companies tax incentives which can project ideas to industry, however they are also wanting funds of funds which can be matched by angel or venture capital.

There are private pre-seed companies who are already established and working to promote innovation to products that can make it to market.

There are already signs of success from this money and other countries also want to get involved along with strong technology transfer departments in the Universities. A success story so far is SAULE Technologies is one of the first companies in the world who works on commercial use of perovskites in the production of ultra-thin and flexible photovoltaic cell.

There is also a big action for health protection for the country as Poland are also seeing ever increasing health burden on society like obesity, diabetes and a ageing population.

I was amazed to hear that the average monthly salary for a secretary is only 500 Euros per month which is very low compared to Scandinavia and even the UK and I hope that the country will eventually see this rise.

Many of the presenters at this event were from the investor community representing the US, UK and German markets and I find it very interesting that these guys want to be there early and I do wonder how much risk they are willing to take to dip their toe in Poland to help the small companies make it larger.

photo-2016-10-27-16-40-10One of the inspirational presentations was by Darrin Disley, who is one of the founders of Horizon Discovery in the UK. He saw an opportunity to help with genoming and gene editing which has resulted in employing 300 and is truly international plus how challenging it was to start in the Cambridge area of the UK as there was very little support that they were given.

He said that being part of such a fast paced company along with buying up and integrating other brands into one has been an interesting experience but his advice was to be pragmatic, adapt in the environment you are in and continue building something that is needed.

On the second day of the conference was focused on Women in Biotech and Melanie Lee, who has a long career in Biotech, spoke about her perspectives on being a woman in Biotech. She said that you need to have personal goals, be part of a proactive management team and there is a whole world full of tools for women to use. She loves science and this certainly comes through with her passion when talking about her experience in working with the Welcome Trust and various non-executive board positions.


Melanie’s was followed by a panel discussion with Miroslawa Zydron from Selvita, Audra Shallal from NFBAN, Anne Bruinvels Px Healthcare and myself. We talked about who are our role models and I have to say that mine has to be her royal highness queen Elizabeth II who is 91 years of age. She is now the longest reigning monarch in the world and really has dedicated her whole life to her job.

This made me think about my business goals and the people who know me know that I want to be self employed for the next 30 years and help create a collaborative Anglo Nordic brand in life sciences which I really enjoy doing.

My conclusions on the event are that it was great to attend. I think conferences with a smaller amount of people means that you do get the opportunity to get to know people better and mingle better with people. I was also pleasantly surprised at how determined Poland is at growing its market but as like Sweden they also need to be proactively marketing themselves at international events and not just live in their own bubble when the rest of the world is being so competitive and fast paced.

I would highly recommend attending this event and I look forward to returning next year.