Government support measures hamper the life science industry

Support packages for different sectors that have been hit hard by the effects of the coronavirus crisis are multiplying. So far, the government's actions are failing the life sciences industry, the very industry that we are relying on to solve both this and future urgent health challenges. The life science industry does not need loans, it needs equity.

On Friday, the government announced a new support package, including a capital injection of SEK 3 billion to Almi Företagspartner to increase its lending to small and medium-sized enterprises and the credit line for the state-owned Swedish Export Credit Corporation was increased. Previous measures have also focused on loans. At the same time, we know that only 2% of financing events in the life sciences industry in 2007-2018 were bank loans [1].

– You have to be humble about the fact that many industries are affected now. Unfortunately, however, the impact of the government’s measures on life science companies remains low. “Loans don’t work for us,” says Helena Strigård, CEO of the industry organization SwedenBIO.

The Swedish life science industry is unique in the world in its high proportion of IPOs. This represents a vulnerability in the current situation.

– If the government wants to make it possible for viable companies in our industry to survive now that the stock market has fallen and the willingness to invest has taken a big hit, they need to use other tools in their toolbox than what they have found so far, Helena Strigård adds.

The SEK 3 billion that the government is now injecting into Almi will be valuable for companies that are in a position where they can borrow at all. But what life science companies need now is state ownership capital, which in turn can act as a magnet to attract private capital.

SwedenBIO argues that it is therefore critical that the government now uses actors such as Saminvest and Almi Invest to be active components in a solution that meets the needs of the life science industry. The Industrial Fund can also play a role. Here, the mandates of these actors may need to be tweaked to enable an effective interaction between private and public ownership capital.

– Today, the Moderates also presented a proposal for a SEK 100 billion venture capital fund. This is a promising step, but of course we need to hear more about how they intend to proceed.

The measures introduced by the government that affect the liquidity of the companies, such as deferral of tax payments, are of great value to the life science industry, but what is important if the government wants to support research-intensive industries with higher risk is also that the efforts are not based on the assumption that it would be “business as usual” in the autumn.

– For the life science industry, it’s not a matter of customers coming back as soon as we can move around in society again. We need to attract investors back, and that’s not easy to do.

SwedenBIO is now working to support the companies affected in various ways, ranging from paused clinical trials to expert advice on the consequences of the stock market decline.

– It is important to remember that nothing has changed in the project portfolios themselves. These are promising projects with commercial viability,” concludes Helena Strigård.

For further information, please contact Helena Strigård CEO SwedenBIO on 073 640 28 05 or


The industry organization SwedenBIO’s more than 260 member companies have a total of 20,000 employees who contribute in various ways to the development of new treatments to prevent and alleviate ill health. Members include companies that are active in drug development, biotechnology, medical devices and diagnostics or are experts in areas such as business development, financing, intellectual property and law.

Read the press release on Mynewsdesk: https: //

Here you will find SwedenBIO’s information page related to Covid-19: