Sweden strong candidate for EMA relocation

By 31 July, the application to become the new host country for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) must be submitted. Reportedly, 22 out of 27 member states are interested in taking over the agency, which is central to the life sciences industry.

SwedenBIO’s CEO Jonas Ekstrand believes that Sweden has a good chance, even though the competition is fierce.

– An advantage for Sweden is that our Medicines Agency is perhaps Europe’s most respected national medicines authority. This can be seen not least in the large number of qualified assignments that EMA outsources to Sweden every year,” he says. It has expertise, experience and weight. It would be fantastic to have the EMA in Sweden, and of course I am not alone in seeing it as a step towards restoring our competitiveness in the pharmaceutical sector.

It has long been known that the most important requirement is for EMA’s operations to be up and running from day one in the new host country. The EU has a history of requiring full operations even during a move. Other criteria relate to logistics and transportation, including airport and public transport requirements, and of course hotel capacity that can cope with the EMA’s need for constantly visiting experts.

Christer Asp, the head of the government’s EMA office, has stated in interviews that the requirements for a seamless move were the guiding principle for the Swedish candidacy.

If the European heads of government, at their summit on October 19-20, approve Sweden as a new EMA country, the agency will be located in Norra Hagastaden, an area currently taking shape next to the Karolinska Institute and the New Karolinska Hospital.

Key milestones for EMA

31 July: interested EU countries must submit their formal application.

1 August: Applications become public by being published on the European Council website.

End of September: the European Commission publishes its evaluation of the applications.

17 October: EU ministers responsible for internal affairs discuss the evaluations.

19-20 October: EU leaders address the issue at their summit.

20 November: EU internal affairs ministers vote on which country will take over EMA from the UK.

Source: Swedish Government Offices, EMA Secretariat




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